UAE minister: F-35 not part of Israel agreement, but Palestinian state is


The sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets is not written into the formal US brokered peace agreement called the Abrahamic Accord that his country and Israel will sign in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told reporters in Washington in a virtual briefing prior to the event. These two things, the UAE purchase of the F-35 jets and the Abrahamic Accord that will be signed, are “very separate,” he said. The UAE is “like any country that takes its military seriously, seeks to modernize its military always. So our request for the F-35 and other [millitary] systems predates this agreement. This has been on the table for a much longer time,” Gargash said.The F-16s that are the cornerstone of the UAE air-fare are two decades old and needs to be replaced, he said.What the Abrahamic Accord does is remove “any grain of doubt” as to why the UAE should receive the F-35 jets, he explained.In an interview with Fox & Friends US President Donald Trump said he personally had “no problem” selling the advanced F-35 fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates, while conceding others might have concerns.”I would have no problem in selling them the F-35,” Trump said, adding “It’s tremendous jobs at home.” he added, hoursIn his conversation with reporters Gargash also spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He clarified that the document does reference a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but briefly, as the document deals largely with the bilateral relations between Israel and the UAE.The accord emphasizes a “basic stance” with regard to the Palestinians in the preamble, he said. It does reference the two states through references to previous agreement that were signed, Gargash said, but he did state which of those understandings would be included in the document.With regard to the suspension of Israeli plans to annex portions of the West Bank, Gargash said the US had assured him the suspension was “real” and “long-lasting.” He did no respond to a question with regard to the whether or not there was an understanding for a settlement freeze.Reuters contributed to this report.
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