US to approve $23 billion F-35 sale to UAE

After ‘pausing’ the sale of fighter jets to Abu Dabi, Biden informed Congress of his intention to move forward with the $23 billion deal.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

On Tuesday, the Biden administration informed Congress it intends to proceed with an arms deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) slated to include advanced F-35 aircraft, Reuters reported based on communications from congressional aides.

The Reuters report also cited a State Department spokesperson, who confirmed the sale of F-35s in addition to armed drones and other military equipment.

According to that source, the U.S. was “reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials” on operational issues related to the weapons, with 2025 delivery dates anticipated.

Whether or not the U.S. will proceed with a munitions sale to Saudi Arabia remains to be seen at this point, with Congressional Democrats opposing that deal and the UAE agreement.

In January, the Biden administration put a temporary hold on several major foreign arms sales initiated by former President Donald Trump.

Among the deals being paused was the UAE deal.

At the time, the State Department called the “pause” a “routine administrative action” that most incoming administrations take with large-scale arms sales.

“The department is temporarily pausing the implementation of some pending U.S. defense transfers and sales under Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales to allow incoming leadership an opportunity to review,” the department said.

The Trump administration authorized tens of billions of dollars in new arms sales, including announcing plans to send 50 F-35s to the UAE.

That announcement came shortly after Trump lost the Nov. 6 election to President Joe Biden and followed the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, under which the Arab states agreed to normalize relations with Israel.