US Continue Talks With UAE Over F-35 Sale

© Sputnik / Evgeny Odinokov / Go to the mediabankSu-35S fighters participate in the flight program of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021.
Su-35S fighters participate in the flight program of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is working through arrangements with the United Arab Emirates to facilitate a $23 billion sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets, but the two states are currently ironing out concerns related to the deal, a senior administration official said on Friday.

"We have to conclude some arrangements, there are some things that the UAE has asked for that were answered by the last administration, so we're working through this with them and we also have some concerns that have to be worked out," the US official said during a conference call.

The UAE has announced this week the suspension of negotiations on the purchase of F-35 fighter jets, in addition to drones and advanced munitions, citing technical requirements, "sovereign operational restrictions," and cost and benefit analysis.
At the same time, the UAE stressed that "the US remains the preferred provider for advanced defense requirements and discussions for the F-35 may be re-opened in the future."
The defense agreement was reached under the Trump administration in January 2021. The $23 billion deal included 50 F-35 stealth aircraft and 18 MQ-9 Reaper combat drones.
However, the UAE's joint projects with China triggered tensions with the US. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials, that the UAE was threatening to pull out from the deal because Washington had rolled tight security requirements to protect against Chinese espionage.
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