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January 28, 2021 10:29 am

US Temporarily Halts Arms Sales to UAE, Saudi Arabia

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A real-size mock of an F-35 fighter jet is displayed at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition, in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 28, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Tim Kelly. – The Biden administration has temporarily halted US arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, according to media reports, citing US officials.

The $23 billion US sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, which was reached after the UAE normalized ties with Israel, is currently under review by the administration, which has not made a decision as to whether the sale will actually occur.

The US State Department called the temporary hold “a routine administrative action,” as new administrations usually review significant arms sales.

“The department is temporarily pausing the implementation of some pending US defense transfers and sales under Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales to allow incoming leadership an opportunity to review,” said the department. “This is a routine administrative action typical to most any transition and demonstrates the administration’s commitment to transparency and good governance, as well as ensuring US arms sales meet our strategic objectives of building stronger, interoperable and more capable security partners.”

Biden administration officials have repeatedly expressed criticism over the F-35 sale and arms sales to Saudi Arabia with the latter using American arms in its war in Yemen.

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