According to a report from Agence France-Presse on the 23rd, during Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit to the Pentagon on Thursday, the United States once again promised to maintain Israel’s military leadership in the Middle East.
As the United States prepares to sell advanced F-35 fighter jets to the UAE (Israel is the only country in the Middle East to have such aircraft), Gantz has received assurances from the U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper that Israel’s “qualitative military advantage” (QME ) Will not be affected.
Esper said during the meeting: “I want to declare once again that in terms of defense sales, we attach great importance to Israel’s military advantage, and we also attach great importance to Israel’s security. This is long-term, guaranteed, and indestructible. “
Gantz met Esper for the second time in a month in Washington. He said that the two sides have been discussing for several weeks to “ensure the commitment of the two parties to the security of Israel.”
After the talks, Gantz said on Twitter that the two sides signed “a joint statement confirming the strategic commitment of the United States to Israel’s qualitative military superiority in the Middle East in the coming years.”
After US President Donald Trump confirmed last month that the United States can sell F-35s to the UAE, Israel clearly expressed its concerns.
Israel has long opposed the sale of F-35 fighter jets to any US allies in the region, including Jordan and Egypt, which have previously recognized Israel.
Since the 1960s, the United States has dealt with this issue based on the principle that Israel should maintain a “qualitative military superiority” and has formally established this concept in Congressional legislation.
But the UAE has been seeking advanced fighters for many years. The UAE is located in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, facing Iran across the sea, and Iran is regarded as a major threat by Israel and the United States.
According to Israeli media reports, although the Pentagon did not provide any information about the documents signed by the two defense ministers, it promised that the United States will support Israel’s “qualitative military superiority” principle in the next four years.