Yousef al-Otaiba says sale agreed underneath Trump when UAE established ties with Israel ‘nonetheless continuing’ whereas present process evaluation by Biden administration.
The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington says he’s assured the sale of F-35 jets to his nation will proceed after a evaluation by the brand new US administration of some pending arms gross sales to American allies.
On former President Donald Trump’s final day in workplace final month, the UAE signed agreements with the US to purchase as much as 50 stealth F-35 fighters, 18 armed drones, and different defence gear in a deal value $23bn.
“We did every thing by the guide and they’re going to uncover that after the evaluation is full and it’ll proceed,” Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba instructed a digital Washington Institute discussion board on Monday, describing the evaluation as “professional forma”.
Final month, a US Division of State official mentioned President Joe Biden’s administration was quickly pausing the implementation of some weapons gross sales to US allies to evaluation them.
“All the things remains to be continuing whereas present process a evaluation on the similar time. I’m assured it would find yourself in the precise place,” al-Otaiba mentioned.
“If you will have much less of a presence and fewer involvement within the Center East you may’t on the similar time take instruments away out of your companions who’re anticipated to do extra,” he mentioned.
‘Harmful arms race’
The UAE was promised an opportunity to accumulate the F-35 plane made by Lockheed Martin in a aspect deal when it established ties with Israel final August in a US-brokered settlement.
Rights teams denounced the sale, saying it might gas regional battle, notably in Libya and in Yemen, the place the UAE and Saudi Arabia have waged a devastating conflict in opposition to the nation’s Houthi rebels.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers within the US additionally criticized the weapons switch, saying it might “facilitate a harmful arms race”.
However in December, the Senate rejected makes an attempt to dam the transaction, which opponents had mentioned was being rushed by with out enough assurances the gear wouldn’t fall into the improper fingers, or gas instability within the Center East.