Sale of F-35 stealth fighters only after UAE understands obligations

According to an official from the Biden Administration, the United States intends to move forward with the sale of 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates after Washington gets a clear understanding of “Emirati obligations”.

“We continue consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have unmistakeable, clear mutually understanding with respect to Emirati obligations and actions before, during and after delivery,” said Mira Resnick, deputy U.S. assistant secretary of state. Resnick did not elaborate on what those obligations were.

Washington’s sale of 50 F-35 warplanes to the UAE has slowed following uncertainty over Abu Dhabi’s relationship with China, including use of Huawei 5G technology in the country.

“Washington continues to press Abu Dhabi on specific commitments regarding how and where the system will be operated once delivered, some of which might be viewed by the UAE as an infringement on its sovereignty,” said Danny Sebright, the head of the U.S.-UAE Business Council.

He went on to add, “Chinese involvement (in) the UAE’s next generation of communications and data networks, China’s presence at UAE naval ports, and China’s offer of certain sensitive military technologies to the UAE are also significant sticking points complicating closure of the F-35 deal with the U.S.”

The previous US Administration under Donald Trump agreed to sell 50 F-35 fighter jets after the UAE established ties with Israel.

Earlier this year, the Biden Administration has said it would proceed with the sale.

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