Pompeo Reassures Israel about Military Edge
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday that Washington “will continue to honor” congressional legislation aimed at ensuring Israel’s military superiority in the region. He was referring to statements from the Trump Administration that the US was weighing the sale of advanced F-35 stealth fighters to the United Arab Emirates in the wake of the Gulf nation’s declared intent to normalize ties with the Jewish state. “We have a 20-plus-year security relationship with the United Arab Emirates… where we have provided them with technical assistance and military assistance, and we will now continue to review that process,” Pompeo said, obliquely referring to the possible sale of F-35s, a matter that has aroused Israeli concerns about its continued regional QME, or qualitative military edge. “We will continue to make sure we are delivering [the Emiratis] with the equipment that they need to secure and defend their own people from this same threat,” he said, clearly referring to Iran. “We are deeply committed to doing that and achieving that, and will do it in a way that preserves our commitment to Israel as well.” Pompeo was on his first stop of a five-day visit to the Middle East that is officially aimed at encouraging more Arab countries to follow Abu Dhabi’s lead on normalization with Israel.