The US Senate on Wednesday blocked efforts to block the Trump administration's plan to sell drones and F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.
The Senate voted 50-46 on a motion that stopped the effort to pass a resolution disapproving of the sale of Reaper remotely piloted drones to the UAE.
Later, it voted 49-47 on a motion that would stop the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the UAE.
In the wake of the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, the Trump administration has accelerated a push to sell the F-35 stealth fighter and advanced armed drones to the UAE.
In late October, the White House notified Congress that it intends to sell the F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates. Subsequent reports said the US also plans to sell 18 sophisticated armed aerial drones to the UAE.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently announced that Israel would not oppose a US sale of advanced weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates.
On Monday, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said in an interview that Israel is “very comfortable” with the US sale of F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates.
US lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have expressed concern over the potential sale of F-35 jets to the UAE and vowed to ensure that Israel can maintain its qualitative military edge.
President-elect Joe Biden’s aides have also expressed concern about the Trump administration’s plans to sell stealth combat aircraft to the United Arab Emirates.