Advertisement

Pompeo vows U.S. will ensure Israel keeps Mideast 'military edge'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wear masks as they speak to the press on Monday during a meeting in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wear masks as they speak to the press on Monday during a meeting in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a trip to the Middle East on Monday, visiting Jerusalem and saying the United States has an obligation to help Israel maintain a "military edge."

During his visit, Pompeo acknowledged the historic agreement last week between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which re-established diplomatic relations after decades.

Advertisement

Pompeo also promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu military superiority in the region, even if the United States sells arms to the UAE.

"The United States has a legal requirement with respect to the qualitative military edge. We will continue to honor that," Pompeo said in a statement. "But we have a 20-plus year security relationship with the United Arab Emirates as well, where we have provided them with technical assistance and military assistance.

"We will now continue to review that process to continue to make sure that we're delivering them with the equipment that they need to secure and defend their own people from this same threat, from the Islamic Republic of Iran as well."

Pompeo added that he hopes other Arab countries will follow the UAE's lead and normalize relations with Israel.

Advertisement

Netanyahu has said he objects to any U.S. arms sales to other nations in the region.

There is concern in Israel that the United States could sell modern weaponry, like the F-35 fighter, to the UAE now that it has normal relations with Jerusalem.

"I don't know of any arms deal that has been agreed upon but our position hasn't changed," Netanyahu said.

Latest Headlines