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U.S. ready to announce $10B arms deal with Israel, Saudis, UAE

April 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- The Obama administration has given Congress the outlines of a $10 billion deal to sell arms to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, officials say.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to negotiate the final details in a visit to the Middle East next week, The New York Times reported. Officials said the United States has been involved in secret talks with all three countries for the past year.

The administration reported on the agreement Thursday to Congress.

A senior official told the Times the administration hopes to provide resources to deal with Iran, with violence in Syria and with increased militant activity in Sinai.

The objective, he said, is "not just to boost Israel's capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners so they, too, would be able to address the Iranian threat -- and also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies."

The arms agreement would be the largest since the United States sold the Saudis F-15 fighter jets in 2010 in a $29.5 billion agreement. The Saudis and the UAE would be able to buy arms from U.S. suppliers and Israel would also receive $3 billion in military aid.

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