Washington, September 15: In a deviation from the past, the United States may no longer maintain its policy of not selling the elite F-35 warplanes to the Middle Eastern countries. President Donald Trump, while speaking to a leading news channel on Tuesday, said he has "no problem" in selling the advanced aircraft to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Donald Trump to Host Signing Ceremony for Israel's Historic Deal with UAE, Bahrain.
The announcements comes on a day when Trump would be hosting the Emirati and Israeli delegations at the White House for the signing of historic "Abraham Accord". Also referred to as the peace deal, the pact is expected to completely normalise the UAE-Israel ties.
Trump, while speaking to the Fox News, said he shared cordial relations with UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. According to him, there is no reason why the F-35 warplanes should not be sold to the nation.
"I know the leader very well, Mohammed, I would have no problem in selling them the F-35, I would have absolutely no problem," Trump said.
No Problem in Selling F-35 to UAE, Says Trump (Watch Video)
🇺🇸🇦🇪 — BREAKING: In an interview with Fox News this morning, President Trump said that he would have no problem in selling F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.
“I know the leader very well, Mohammed, I would have no problem in selling them the F35, I would have absolutely no Problem” pic.twitter.com/vz2GmQ5eVB
— Belaaz (@TheBelaaz) September 15, 2020
Emirati Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said the UAE, like any other sovereign nation, has the right to upgrade and modernise its defence system. The peace agreement with Israel removes the "final grain of doubt" over the country's intention behind procuring the elite warplanes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, had told reporters that there was no clause in the agreement with the UAE that changed the policy on F-35 sale. The warplanes allows Tel Aviv to maintain an edge in the region, where it surrounded by all Muslim-majority neighbours.
Experts claim that one of the reasons behind the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar expressing their interest in F-35 procurement is not due to their historic rivalry with Israel, but the emerging threat from Iran and Turkey.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 15, 2020 07:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).