US officials confirm sale of F35 jets to UAE

UAE suspends discussions on F35 aircraft deal with US

Nov 17, 2021: According to a report by Reuters, the United States plans to move ahead with the sale of 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, but there must be a clear understanding of the “emirate’s responsibilities,” a US official said on Tuesday.

“We continue to consult with the UAE authorities to ensure that we have a clear and unequivocal mutual understanding of the UAE’s responsibilities and the steps to be taken before, during and after the delivery,” the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, said in a call to reporters without elaborating on what those responsibilities may be.

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

Danny Sebright, head of the US-UAE Business Council, addressed Reuters saying, “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,”

“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 US.”

The United States under then-president Donald Trump agreed to sell the warplane after the UAE last year established ties with Israel. President Joe Biden’s administration has said this year it would proceed with the sale.

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