WSJ: UAE threatens to pull out of $23 billion f-35, drone deal with US
US media talks about threats sent by the Emirates to Washington regarding the cancellation of the deal, which amounts to 23 billion dollars.
US Media outlets said, on Tuesday, that the United Arab Emirates threatens to pull out of a $23 billion deal to buy US-made F-35 aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper drones, and other advanced munitions.
The Wall Street Journal reported citing US officials that the UAE has also threatened to pull out of Reaper drones and other advanced munitions deals.
“The Emirati government told US officials that it intended to halt the deal because Abu Dhabi thought security requirements the U.S. had laid out to safeguard the high-tech weaponry from Chinese espionage were too onerous, and the country’s national sovereignty was in jeopardy”, according to WSJ.
The newspaper hinted that the Emirati threat is a bargaining tactic on the eve of a high-level UAE military delegation's planned visit to the Pentagon for two days of talks on Wednesday.
While the US has ‘legitimate security concerns,' there is a rush to save the UAE's weapons sale, WSJ reported citing US officials.
The newspaper cited another US official as saying, “We remain committed to these sales, and the Emiratis have raised some concerns; frankly, we have some questions of our own. This sort of back-and-forth is not unusual for significant arms sales and we are hopeful we can work through these issues and we think the joint military dialogue will give us an opportunity to do so.”
What happened to the deal?
It is worth mentioning that the sale of 50 F-35 aircraft manufactured by the US firm, Lockheed Martin, has eased amid concerns in Washington.
The US State Department said last March that the US administration intends to move forward with the sale of jets to the UAE even as they continue to review the details and consult with Emirati officials regarding the use of the weapon platforms.
The US, under former President Donald Trump, approved selling the fighter jets after the UAE normalized its relations with "Israel" last year.
"Israel" initially rejected the anticipated sale agreement, but it ceased opposing it after obtaining what it said were US guarantees that "Israel" would maintain its military superiority.