The United States will ensure Israel retains a military advantage in the Middle East under any future U.S. arms deals with the United Arab Emirates.
That was the promise from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday (August 24).
He was speaking after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Mike Pompeo: "The United States has a legal requirement with respect to the qualitative military edge. We will continue to honor that, but 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 to continue to make sure that we are delivering them with the equipment that they need to secure and defend their own people from the same threat, from the Islamic Republic of Iran as well, we are deeply committed to doing that to achieving that, and we will do it in a way that preserves our commitment to Israel as well, I am confident that both of these objectives can be achieved."
Benjamin Netanyahu: "(We) heard again a very very strong commitment, that under all circumstances the United States will ensure Israel's qualitative edge, that has been proved to be true over four decades of peace with Egypt, two and a half decades of peace with Jordan, the United States stood by that commitment and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so."
A U.S.-brokered deal on normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE was announced on August 13.
But there has been some dissent in Israel over the prospect of the Gulf power now obtaining advanced U.S. weaponry such as the F-35 warplane.
Pompeo said Washington had provided the UAE with military support for more than 20 years, measures he described as needed to stave off shared threats from Iran - also Israel's arch-foe.