F-35 stealth fighter
F-35 stealth fighter iStock

The United States intends to move forward with the sale of 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates but there must be a clear understanding of "Emirati obligations," a US official said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

"We continue consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have unmistakable, clear mutually understanding with respect to Emirati obligations and actions before, during and after delivery," said Mira Resnick a deputy US assistant secretary of state, on a call with reporters, without elaborating on what the obligations were.

The Trump administration agreed to sell advanced aircraft to the UAE following the signing of the Abraham Accords. The deal was signed on former President Donald Trump’s final day in office.

The Biden administration later decided to halt the sale. Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained at the time that when it comes to arms sales, “It is typical at the start of an administration to review any pending sales, to make sure that what is being considered is something that advances our strategic objectives and advances our foreign policy, so that's what we're doing at this moment.”

In April, the Biden administration told Congress it is proceeding with the deal. A State Department spokesperson said at the time the administration would move forward with the proposed sales to the UAE, "even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials" related to the use of the weapons.

The sale of 50 F-35 warplanes to the UAE has slowed amid concerns in Washington over Abu Dhabi's relationship with China, including use of Huawei 5G technology in the country.

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