• Bassam Radi, Managing Editor

"incredibly positive conversations going on" regarding selling the F-35 combat aircraft to the UAE

Morgan Ortagus, Spokesperson for the US Department of State, told WAM in an interview,

"We know that there are more agreements to formalise between the UAE and Israel, but you have taken the first step and I have no doubt that the other steps will come into place, and that's one of the reasons why Secretary Pompeo is here,"

"With respect to the F-35 or any military hardware or infrastructure, I keep reminding people that it is important to know that the UAE and US' military and security relationship is robust and has been there for decades. Since the Gulf War, the US had sold military aircraft and hardware, F-16s, and others to the UAE," she added.

"This is not a new relationship; this is a sophisticated relationship that we have had for decades," she continued.

Any F-35 sale could take years to negotiate and deliver, giving a new US presidential administration ample time to halt the deal. Poland, the most recent F-35 customer, purchased 32 of the jets, but will not receive its first delivery until 2024. Any sale would also need congressional approval.

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