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US committed to strengthening UAE military, F-35 talks ongoing: Ortagus

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Washington is letting its allies in the region know of its commitment to strengthening the UAE's military and there have been “incredibly positive conversations” in recent days after the UAE-Israel deal, a senior US official said Wednesday.

“We certainly are letting all our allies in the region know that our commitment militarily to strengthen the UAE is incredibly important,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told Emirates News Agency, WAM.

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“With respect to the F-35 or any military hardware or infrastructure, I keep reminding people that it is important to know that the UAE and US’ military and security relationship is a robust one and has been around for decades,” Ortagus said.

She added that the US had sold military aircraft and hardware, F-16 fighter jets and others to the UAE.

Read more: US Secretary Pompeo discusses Libya ceasefire, countering Iran with UAE officials

Touching on the US relationship with the UAE, Ortagus said it was not new. “This a sophisticated relationship that we have had for decades.”

As for the recent deal between the UAE and Israel to formalize ties, Ortagus said that she had “no doubt” that the other steps would come into place.

“That’s one of the reasons why Secretary Pompeo is here.”

Pompeo landed in the UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, the latest stop on his Middle East tour that was prompted by the announcement of the peace deal on August 13.

Read more: US Secretary Pompeo discusses regional stability, unity with Bahrain crown prince