WASHINGTON, (BM) – 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.
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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.
DefenseNews says the US State Department of Defense did not immediately respond to their request for comment. According to the American edition and according to Reuters, the agreement outlines the full framework of production, delivery, and price of the weapon systems requested by the UAE. So far, no one can confirm when the first F-35 fighter to delivered to the UAE, but some claim it will be in 2027.
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.
The question remains whether President Joe Biden’s new administration will accept the deal or cancel it. The signals that Anthony Blinken left last year are for a long and careful study of the situation in the agreement and a decision whether it is correct and in favor of the US partners. Anthony Blinken was Joe Biden’s choice of secretary of state.
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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