BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The UAE announced that it may acquire advanced weapons from other countries if Washington does not agree to meet its needs in this field, in light of the controversy over the deal to export F-35 fighters to Abu Dhabi.
The Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, indicated in a series of tweets posted on the official embassy account yesterday, Thursday, that the deal, which includes US weapons worth $23 billion, including F-35, which is currently being studied by Congress, is of the utmost importance to both parties, in response to the senator Democrat Chris Murphy, who recently voiced his opposition to the contract approved by President Donald Trump’s administration.
The ambassador described his country as “the most open and tolerant society” in the region, pointing out that the deal would provide for strengthening the already developed military cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Washington.
He said that the sale of F-35 to the UAE is much more than just an arms deal. Rather, it serves “the way forward towards a more secure and stable Middle East” and allows the UAE to assume greater responsibility for regional security, which will allow the United States to focus more on challenges other than universality.
Al-Otaiba indicated that Israeli leaders agreed to the deal and rejected the criticisms made by Murphy to his country over its role in the Yemeni crisis, recalling that Abu Dhabi withdrew its forces from Yemen in October last year.
The ambassador said that describing the UAE as having a “very close and active defense partnership with Russia and China” is an exaggeration, explaining that his country has “economic and diplomatic relations with both countries and is acquiring their products when the United States cannot meet its needs in important equipment.”
He continued: “We prefer to obtain the best American equipment, or we will find it reluctantly from other sources, even if its capabilities are less.”
Al-Otaiba concluded his letter to the American Senator by saying that the UAE considers the United States a “chosen partner” in the field of security, adding: “We want defense equipment, training and coordination from the United States, because this matter is of the utmost importance in the most dangerous region in the world to protect us and our common interests and values with the United States.”