The Biden administration has notified the US Congress of its plan to proceed with the sale of arms worth $23.37 billion to the United Arab Emirates.
The arms deal includes 50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems, and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, which was put forth by the Trump administration earlier following the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, under which the Arab states have agreed to normalise relations with Israel. Once the deal materialised, the UAE would become the first Arab nation and the second country in the Middle East after Israel to own the advanced set of fighter jets.
In an emailed statement by the spokesperson, acquired by Reuters, the government expects "a robust and sustained dialogue with the UAE" to guarantee an effective security partnership. "We will also continue to reinforce with the UAE and all recipients of US defense articles and services that US-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 statement added. The estimated date of delivery, upon approval, is supposedly after 2025 or later, the spokesperson said.
A US official stated that the deal was officiated by the UAE during Trump's final hour in the White House before Joe Biden was sworn in as the president on January 20.
Reports also convey that the now-ruling US administration is in talks over military sales to Saudi Arabia.