Saudis and UAE have to wait – Biden froze the F-35 sale

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The United Arab Emirates will have to wait for the official announcement of the purchase of fifth-generation F-35 fighters and MQ-9 Reaper drones. The administration of US President Joe Biden has temporarily frozen the deal.

As we wrote earlier, such a possibility exists. Joe Biden’s moratorium on the deal, which was one of the last acts of former US President Donald Trump, is now a fact.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news, citing sources in the president’s new administration. Biden has promised to reconsider similar deals by the previous president, through which Trump sought to strike a diplomatic balance in relations between Israel and the Arab world.

Biden’s moratorium affects two countries – Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The UAE is ‘frozen’ in a deal to sell F-35s, and the Saudis are ‘frozen’ in a deal to sell high-tech ammunition. Experts say such presidential action is not uncommon. They suggest that Washington will still execute most of the sales.

We remind you that one of Joe Biden’s promises during his election campaign was to ensure that Saudi Arabia would no longer use American weapons in Yemen’s conflict. This conflict lasted for years and took thousands of civilian lives and mass starvation.

The last move of Donald Trump

According to reports in Reuters and Defense News, former US President Donald Trump has issued a decree confirming the sale of 50 F-35 fighters to the UAE. It happened an hour before Trump left the White House. In addition to the fighter jets, the two media quoted the sale of 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones.

Reuters claims that this was one of the last acts of President Trump. Defense News confirms the news. According to their sources from Trump’s entourage, they confirmed that the United States and the United Arab Emirates signed the letter of agreement on Wednesday. According to US law, such a letter guarantees the terms of the sale of American weapons to another country.

According to preliminary information, the deal estimates at nearly 23.3 billion US dollars. But military experts say such long-term agreements could change financial parameters.

What were the initial fears?

Late last year, four resolutions blocking a $ 23 billion deal passed in a Senate attempt to halt arms sales to the Emirates. The UAE agreement was one of the last shots fired by U.S. President Donald Trump to make a significant arms deal.

Trump’s attempt to sell weapons to the Emirates has met with criticism. Their main point of departure is that if the deal passes, Israel’s military risks will increase. Tel Aviv’s current military advantage in the Middle East is palpable. However, the United States aims to support the UAE’s efforts to counter a possible Iranian attack.

Proponents of the U.S. idea of ​​selling weapons to the UAE say the sale is likely to occur during Joe Biden’s term. According to various MPs, Joe Biden is ready to continue the agreement, but with new conditions in favor of the United States and Israel.

We remind you that the UAE has already violated the arms embargo in Libya once. The UAE’s actions in Libya could play a bad joke and fail to make a deal. Senator Chris Murphy opposes the possible deal, saying arming the UAE with such technology could seriously change the region’s situation and launch “mass arming” in other countries. He talks about an arms race.

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