(August 24, 2020 / JNS) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured on Monday that the United States will “respect” Israel’s military edge as Washington reviews possible sales of the F-35 fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates in the aftermath of Aug. 13 U.S.-brokered agreement between Israel and the UAE.
“The United States has a legal requirement with respect to qualitative military edge, and we will continue to honor that,” said Pompeo, standing alongside Netanyahu, in a statement to the media in Jerusalem after meeting with the Israeli leader. “We have a 20-plus-year security relationship with the United Arab Emirates as well, where we have provided them with technical assistance and military assistance and we will now continue to review that process.”
Referring to Iran, Pompeo said, “We will continue to make sure we are delivering them with the equipment that they need to secure and defend their own people from this same threat.”
“We are deeply committed to doing that and achieving that and will do it in a way that preserves our commitment to Israel as well,” said Pompeo.
Reportedly, the UAE cancelled a planned meeting with the United States and Israel on Friday amid Netanyahu’s opposition to a possible U.S. arms deal to the UAE.
In addition to the Iranian threat and the Israel-UAE deal, Pompeo and Netanyahu discussed the possibility of other Mideast countries following the UAE and normalizing relations with Israel. The two also discussed the Chinese threat and the possibility of Washington and Jerusalem collaborating to find a vaccine to treat coronavirus.
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