In an interview this morning with Fox News, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would have “no problem” selling F-35s to the United Arab Emirates.
American ally, Israel, has said it would have a problem with such a sale of the fighter jets as it would give the Gulf nation a military edge in the region. Since the Aug. 13 announcement of the agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE, speculation at whether this was part of the peace deal has been rampant.
However, such a sale is not written into the formal agreement, according to United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash who is in Washington. Gargash noted that the agreement and the purchase of military equipment are “very separate.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also denied approving a U.S. sale of the fighter planes to the UAE, though reports in Israel and the US indicated he gave his consent. US officials have said the sale is possible, while promising to uphold Israel’s military edge in the region.
Trump told the American news show that he thought such a sale would also be “good for our country” and would create jobs.
“The United Arab Emirates is a great military … partner of America. We work together on a lot of things,” Trump continued. “They’re right on the border with Iran and have real threats. And I think that there’s a lot of opportunity to be gained by working on this.”