US to proceed with $23 billion weapon sales to UAE

US to proceed with $23 billion weapon sales to UAE
US to proceed with $23 billion weapon sales to UAE

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details US to proceed with $23 billion weapon sales to UAE in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The US government anticipates “a robust and sustained dialogue with the UAE” to ensure a stronger security partnership, the State Department spokesperson said.

US soldiers standing next to an F-35A Lightning II stationed at the Emirati Al-Dhafra base, about 32 kilometres south of Abu Dhabi. (AFP)

WASHINGTON--US President Joe Biden’s administration has told Congress it is proceeding with more than $23 billion in weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates, including advanced F-35 aircraft, armed drones and other equipment, congressional aides said on Tuesday.

A State Department spokesperson said the administration would move forward with the proposed sales to the UAE, “even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials” related to the use of the weapons.

However, the Democratic chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said on Wednesday he and other lawmakers were concerned about the Biden administration’s decision and would review the transactions.

“I still have many questions about any decision by the Biden Administration to go forward with the Administration’s proposed transfers of F-35s, armed UAVs (drones), munitions and other weapons,” Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregory Meeks said in a statement.

“Fortunately, none of these transfers would occur any time soon, so there will be ample time for Congress to review whether these transfers should go forward and what restrictions and conditions would be imposed,” he said.

 Agreed, paused then okayed 

The Democratic president’s administration had paused the deals agreed to by former Republican President Donald Trump in order to review them. The sales to the Gulf nation were finalised right before Trump left office.

The Trump administration told Congress in November it had approved the US sale to the UAE as a side deal to the Abraham Accords, a US-brokered agreement in September in which the UAE agreed to normalise relations with Israel.

In the last months of the Trump administration, Israel reached deals with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco as part of the accords.

The $23.37 billion package contained products from General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp, including 50 F-35 Lighting II aircraft, up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

Some US lawmakers have criticised the UAE for its involvement in the war in Yemen, a conflict considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, and worried that the weapons transfers might violate US guarantees that Israel will retain a military advantage in the region. But experts point the UAE has mostly disengaged from Yemen.

Israel said it did not object to the sales.

A legislative effort to stop the sales failed in December, as Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress backed his plans.

The Trump administration then finalised the massive sale to the UAE on January 20, about an hour before Biden was sworn in as president.

The Biden administration announced the review in late January and the UAE said then it had anticipated the review and welcomed joint efforts to de-escalate tensions and for renewed regional dialogue.

 Stronger security partnership 

The State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday the estimated delivery dates on the UAE sales, if implemented, were for after 2025 or later.

The US government anticipates “a robust and sustained dialogue with the UAE” to ensure a stronger security partnership, the State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“We will also continue to reinforce with the UAE and all recipients of US defence articles and services that US-origin defence equipment must be adequately secured and used in a manner that respects human rights and fully complies with the laws of armed conflict,” the statement said.

The Biden administration is also reviewing its policy for military sales to Saudi Arabia, including some Trump-era weapons deals, in light of the Saudi involvement in Yemen and other concerns.

It has not released the results of that review. In February, US officials said the administration was considering cancelling past deals that posed concerns and limiting future sales to “defensive” weapons.

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