Israel-UAE deal could open up US weapons sales to Gulf kingdom, experts say

WASHINGTON: Normalised diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates could pave the way for more US weapons sales to the Gulf Arab country, according to experts.

Israel and the UAE announced on Thursday (Aug 13) that they will normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship under an accord that U.S. President Donald Trump helped broker.

Advertisement

Advertisement

The agreement makes the UAE only the third Arab state after Egypt and Jordan to make such a deal with Israel, which has enjoyed special access to US weapons sales.

In a National Public Radio interview on Friday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that "the more the Emirates become a friend of Israel, become a partner of Israel, become a regional ally of the United States, I think obviously that alters the threat assessment and could work out to the Emirates' benefit" on future weapons sales.

FILE PHOTO: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during a briefing at The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in Jerusalem February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

The United States guarantees that Israel receives more advanced American weapons than Arab states get, giving it what is labelled a "Qualitative Military Edge" over its neighbours. One example is the F-35 jet made by Lockheed Martin Co that Israel has used in combat, but the UAE is currently unable to purchase.

Advertisement

Advertisement

David Makovsky, director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank, told Reuters the deal is "a win for the Emirates, which will undoubtedly be eligible for military sales that it could not obtain due to 'qualitative military edge' restrictions due to fear certain technologies could be usedRead More – Source