The proposed sale of 50 F-35s came at the end of President Donald Trump’s administration, rising out of a deal that saw the UAE recognize Israel. The $23 billion sale also included armed drones and other defense equipment sought by the Emirates, a hereditarily ruled federation of seven sheikhdoms also home to Dubai.
The U.S. remains “fully committed” to a proposed sale of advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, despite the Biden administration slowing down the deal, a senior American official overseeing arms exports said Tuesday, AP reports.
Mira Resnick, a deputy U.S. assistant secretary of state in the Biden administration, also told The Associated Press at the Dubai Air Show that Gulf Arab partners are not looking to purchase weapons from Russia as a hedge over American concerns about human rights in the region.
A high-level Russian delegation met Tuesday with Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the air show, which prominently featured Moscow’s competitor to the F-35, the Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate.
“The F-35 is already in this region, whether it’s Israelis flying the F-35, whether it’s American F-35,” Resnick said. “We would like the UAE to be able to operate the F-35 in a way that (they) can be our security partners and to deter threats, including from Iran.”
© Copyright LaPresse