Last Thursday, the United Arab Emirates’ Embassy to Washington released a statement covering that the UAE finalized agreements with the former President of the United States Donald Trump on his last full day in office, to buy 50 F-35 jets and 18 armed drones, worth approximately $23 billion.
However, the newly elected president of the US, Joe Biden, decided to review these agreements, inked during the Trump administration. Also, it has been reported that munition sales to Saudi Arabia will be examined. Speaking at a press conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed that the suspension issue is an ordinary move each new administration takes in order to review strategic agreements made by the previous administration, and to ensure whether those agreements correspond to the US’ strategic interests.
The idea of purchasing F-35 jets by the UAE came after the decision to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords. By this, the US administration aims to contain the Iranian threats in the region. On the other hand, the UAE, one of the closest allies of the US in the Middle East, stated its interest in purchasing F-35s for a long time.
In his campaign, Joe Biden frequently expressed that under his administration, the arms support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE would be stopped due to their involvement in fueling the devastating civil war in Yemen.