Israeli media reported Wednesday that a military delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently in Israel for an official visit.
“The Israeli Air Force recently hosted a military delegation from the UAE to review the performance of advanced US-made F-35 fighter jets,” Israel’s I24 news channel quoted an unnamed official source as saying.
“An American delegation was also present at the time,” the source added.
According to I24, the UAE “seeks to purchase its own fleet of F-35s … amid reports of a burgeoning Israeli-Gulf alliance against Iran”.
The UAE, for its part, has yet to confirm the reported visit to Israel, with whom it does not have diplomatic relations.
Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize Israel but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years.
The UAE is also serving as the key member of a Saudi-led military alliance, which has been engaged in a bloody military campaign against Yemen since 2015.
Meanwhile, Abdu Dhabi, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egyptian, has also been involved in an unprecedented diplomatic dispute with Qatar over the past year. The quartet cut ties with Qatar last June and slapped the country with an all-out embargo over what they call Doha’s support for terror, an allegation strongly rejected by Qatar.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia even planned once to launch a military attack against their ally-turned-foe, according to reports.
The Emirates and Saudi Arabia also view the regime in Tel Aviv as a potential partner in an alliance against Iran.
Fars news agency