Reuters quoted sources as saying that the U.S. State Department had agreed to sell 18 MQ-9 drones to the U.A.E.

The agency said, citing people familiar with a congressional notification, that the U.S. State Department gave the U.S. Congress an unofficial notice on Thursday of the potential $2.9 billion drone deal for the U.A.E.

The move comes on the heels of a notification last week of a possible sale of F-35 fighter jets to the U.A.E.

It would be the first export of drones since the Trump administration reinterpreted a 34-nation Cold War arms agreement to allow U.S. defense contractors to sell more drones to allies.

Washington agreed to consider allowing the U.A.E. to purchase F-35 stealth jets, in a side bargain to a deal brokered by the United States to normalize relations between Israel and the U.A.E.