December 01, 2020
WASHINGTON - At the weekly Republican leadership press conference today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) discussed his support for the Trump administration’s proposed U.S. arms sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.
Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:
“The other topic I wanted to talk about today was the arms sale, the F-35 sale to the UAE. It appears sometime this month there'll be a congressional vote on that issue. My personal view is it would be a big mistake not to move forward with that arms sale. Israel is supportive. I think it may be the only thing that Netanyahu and Gantz had agreed on since they formed their coalition government, that this sale should go forward.
“They say that, understanding that there would be a qualitative difference between the UAE F-35 and the Israel F-35, and then another difference between what we have. But for 20 years now, three different administrations, we have increasingly worked closely with the UAE on defense issues, on the ground together, in the air together. In at least six different extended deployments, the UAE has been there.
“Clearly the Abraham Accords, what's happened with Bahrain following, and I think others to follow that, will be impacted by whether we continue to have the kind of cooperation on defense issues that we've had with the UAE, again, for three different administrations. That will come up. It will not successfully be stopped by the Congress, I don't believe, but it's a debate that we ought to be thinking about. I certainly think we should continue with that arms sale.”