UAE suspends multi-billion dollar weapons deal in sign of growing frustration with US-China showdown
The United Arab Emirates suspended a multi-billion dollar deal to buy US-made F-35 fighter jets. This move is a sign of Abu Dhabi’s frustration with the US attempts to limit Chinese technology sales to the UAE. The decision was supported by technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis according to an Emirati official. The official also stated that the US remains the UAE’s preferred provider for defense equipment and the deal may be reopened in the future.
The State Department stated the US was committed to the deal and the normalization of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel. The suspension of the deal came after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in the UAE capital. The US government has pushed the UAE to drop China’s Huawei Technologies Co. from its telecommunications and claim that it could pose a security threat for US weapons systems. UAE officials, however, have been skeptical and anxious about getting caught between the US and China. A military delegation from the UAE was scheduled to visit the pentagon yesterday.