UAE suspending F-35 discussions with US: reports

Arab World Materials 15 December 2021 03:31 (UTC +04:00)
UAE suspending F-35 discussions with US: reports

The United Arab Emirates is suspending discussions with the United States over a $23 billion deal to purchase about 50 F-35 fighter jets, according to multiple reports, Trend reports citing The Hill.

A UAE official told Reuters that "technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis led to the re-assessment of the deal."

"The U.S. remains the UAE's preferred provider for advanced defense requirements and discussions for the F-35 may be re-opened in the future," the official told Reuters.

News of the suspension was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that the Biden administration "remains committed" to the deal, "even as we continue consultations to ensure that we have a clear, mutual understanding of Emirati obligations and actions before, during, and after delivery."

The spokesperson added that the agency is "hopeful we can work through any outstanding issues."

The deal was officially approved in November 2020 after Abu Dhabi signed onto the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between the UAE, Israel and Bahrain.