Washington: – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed an agreement worth USD 23 billion with the United States for the supply of defence equipment. Under this agreement, the United States will be supplying 50 super-advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets and Reaper Drones to UAE. Former US President Donald Trump signed this agreement, on priority, on his last day at the White House. Meanwhile, Israeli analysts had claimed that the new US president Joe Biden might oppose the sale of F-35 fighter jets to UAE.
The UAE embassy in the United States announced the F-35 deal. Joe Biden was scheduled to take over as President on Wednesday. Before that, on Tuesday, President Trump stayed in the White House for the entire day and announced various agreements and decisions. The UAE embassy clarified that the USD 23 billion deal with UAE was also a part of these agreements.
As per this agreement, the United States will be supplying 50 of the fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter jets at the cost of USD 10.4 billion. Other than the fighter jets, the United States will also provide MQ-9B Reaper Drones, used by the United States in Afghanistan and Yemen. These 18 drones will be supplied at the cost of USD 2.97 billion. The agreement includes the supply of other defence equipment worth USD 10 billion. The statement issued by the UAE embassy says, ‘This defence cooperation between the United States and UAE will prove beneficial to develop military coordination between the two countries and regional counter threats.’ With this defence cooperation, the UAE has taken essential steps in the Middle East’s collective security. Simultaneously, the statement clarifies that UAE is committed to the recently concluded regional cooperation agreement. The Israeli media are claiming that UAE issued a warning to Iran, by mentioning the Abraham agreement with Israel.
Around a month ago, the decision to supply F-35 fighter jets and Reaper drones to UAE had been opposed in the US Congress. The Democrat party leaders had opposed the proposal to equip UAE, saying that UAE was responsible for human rights violations in Yemen. Still, the request was passed in the Congress with a majority. The current President Joe Biden had opposed equipping UAE and Saudi Arabia by expressing concerns over the Yemen conflict. Around a month ago, the Israeli media claimed that President Biden could stop this proposal passed by the US Congress in this scenario. Against this background, Trump seems to have signed the agreement with UAE, before leaving the White House.