White House reaffirms commitment to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the region

The White House announced on Thursday it will sell 50 F-35 planes to the United Arab Emirates, following lengthy talks in the wake of the Gulf state's normalization agreement with Israel earlier this year.

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US President Donald Trump's administration informally gave a required notification to Congress on the sale, which could "significantly change the military balance in the Gulf and affect Israel's military edge," said Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The UAE sought the advanced warplanes as it spoke to the United States ahead of its landmark recognition of Israel last month. The normalization was followed by similar moves by Bahrain and Sudan.

Israel has long objected to the sales of the advanced F-35 multirole jets to Gulf states but eventually dropped its protests against the deal in a joint statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz. Read more at i24