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Engel Statement on Proposed Sale of F-35 Aircraft to UAE

Bronx, NY—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s plan to sell advanced military technology to the United Arab Emirates, which was presented to the Committee today in an informal notification:

“This technology would significantly change the military balance in the Gulf and affect Israel’s military edge. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a game-changing stealth platform boasting advanced strike capability and unique sensor technology. The export of this aircraft requires very careful consideration and Congress must analyze all of the ramifications.  Rushing these sales is not in anyone’s interest.

“My consideration of this sale will include several factors. First, we must maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge, as provided in U.S. law, and ensure Israel’s military superiority in the region, as Israel remains our most crucial ally there.  Israel currently has exclusive access in the region to the F-35, which has guaranteed its military edge over the last several years. As Congress reviews this sale, it must be clear that changes to the status quo will not put Israel’s military advantage at risk.

“This technology also must be safeguarded from our greatest global adversaries. With Russia and China active in the region, the American people will require unimpeachable assurances that our most advanced military capabilities will be protected.

“Lastly, the transfer of these weapons to one Arab state inevitably will generate demands from others in the region.  Will the price for normalization with Israel be an infusion of advanced weapons? Is this wise?

“As we consider these risks, we must ensure that American national security and foreign policy priorities are at the forefront of our considerations.  In the coming days, I invite members of Congress who share my concerns to join me in introducing legislation to ensure that the sale of these types of weapons adhere to our most important national security goals.”

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