- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding talks with the UAE leadership.
- Shin Bet and Mossad officials will not be involved in the talks.
- Netanyahu has said that he’s speaking with other Muslim nations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has exempted Shin Bet and Mossad security officials from his trip to the United Arab Emirates. He is set to hold talks with the Emirati leadership on the new diplomatic alliance that will see the two nations forge closer ties.
The security team was set to travel with the Prime Minister, but according to a statement issued by his office, the current discourse only covers civil matters. Intelligence officials will apparently be engaged when the two nations discuss security matters.
There has been speculation that the peace deal between Israel and the UAE also included a clause agreeing to the sale of US F-35 stealth fighter jets to the UAE. Netanyahu has denied the allegations. The following is an excerpt of the statement issued by his office in regard to this.
“The historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates did not include Israel’s consent to any arms deal whatsoever between the United States and the UAE.
From the outset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has opposed the sale of F-35s and other advanced weaponry to any country in the Middle East, including Arab countries that have peace agreements with the State of Israel.”
Selling F-35 jet fighters to the UAE could cause problems for Israel as it will most likely lose its military edge in the region. Such a capability would only be beneficial to Israel if awarded to a strong ally.
As highlighted by US President Donald Trump, the UAE–Israeli accord was agreed upon with the condition that Israel abandons its West Bank annexation plans.
On the F-35 delivery agreement, US State Department officials who spoke with CNN have denied being briefed on the matter. US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have, however, issued public statements about it. The two have confirmed that a deal is on the table, but the nuances have yet to be worked out.
The sale of such advanced military equipment would procedurally require authorization from the State Department as well as congressional approval. The State Department has already said that all questions related to UAE F-35 deal should be directed to the White House.
Netanyahu is Talking to Other Muslim Nations
Netanyahu has said that he is holding meetings with leaders of other Muslim nations to normalize relations. The declaration comes on the heels of a new decree by UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan that scraps policies aimed at boycotting Israel.
His administration has repealed a rule that prevented open trade with the State of Israel. According to the 1972 UAE boycott law, the UAE would only recognize the state of Israel if Palestinians were allowed to have their own independent state, which would include the West Bank.