F-35 sale to Emirates hits more turbulence: Lawmaker calls for ‘review’

“I and many other House Members remain concerned about the proposed sale of $23 billion in arms to the UAE,” said Rep. Meeks.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that many members of Congress are concerned about the Biden administration’s recent approval of arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and may impose restrictions and conditions on the deal.

“I and many other House Members remain concerned about the proposed sale of $23 billion in arms to the UAE,” Meeks said in a statement Wednesday.

Meeks, who has expressed strong opposition to the sale in the past, said that he still has “many questions” about the Biden administration’s decision to go forward with the Trump administration’s proposed transfers of F-35 fighter jets, armed drones, munitions and other weapons to the UAE.

“Fortunately, none of these transfers would occur any time soon, so there will be ample time for Congress to review whether these transfers should go forward and what restrictions and conditions would be imposed,” he said.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Tuesday that the estimated delivery dates for the sales, if implemented, are not scheduled until after 2025.

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“We can confirm that the Administration intends to move forward with these proposed defense sales to the UAE, even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have developed mutual understandings with respect to Emirati obligations before, during, and after delivery,” the spokesperson told HuffPost.

“We will also continue to reinforce with the UAE and all recipients of U.S. defense articles and services that U.S.-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 spokesperson said.

In order to conduct a review, the Biden administration had placed a temporary hold on the deal.

In a Zoom call hosted by Democratic Majority for Israel last September, Meeks said he was “absolutely opposed” to the sale.

“I think that it violates Israel’s strategic interest and safety,” said Meeks, according to the Jewish Insider.

“I hope that the UAE did not agree to recognize Israel thinking that that will enhance their opportunities to get these planes,” he said. “I hope that they’re doing it for the right reasons. Time will tell. But I’m absolutely opposed to the sale.”