Washington: US President Joe Biden’s administration has told Congress it is proceeding with more than $23 billion in defence equipment sales to the United Arab Emirates, including advanced F-35 aircraft, 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.
The Trump administration told Congress in November it had approved the US sale to the UAE as a side deal to the Abraham Accords, an 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.
Delivery from 2025
The State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday the estimated delivery dates on the UAE sales, if implemented, were for after 2025 or later.
The government anticipated “a robust and sustained dialogue with the UAE” to ensure a stronger security partnership, the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“We will also continue to reinforce with the UAE and all recipients of US defense articles and services that US-origin defense 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.