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Approval has been given for the US to sell several advanced defence systems to the UAE. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo authorised the proposed purchases, which are worth up to US$23.27Bn and include:

  • up to 50 F-35 LIGHTNING II aircraft, valued at US$10.4Bn
  • up to 18 MQ-9B UAVs, valued at US$2.97Bn
  • a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, valued at $10 billion

In his statement, Pompeo said, “The UAE’s historic agreement to normalise relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape. Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success. The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with U.S. partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.”

“Security cooperation and defence trade are powerful tools of American diplomacy. Today’s announcement echoes the enhanced defense cooperation we embarked upon with Egypt in the wake of the 1979 Camp David Accords, as well as our closer security relationship with Jordan following its normalisation of ties with Israel in 1994. Together, we are committed to securing the success of the Abraham Accords, he added.”

Jack Richardson