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Biden administration freezes weapons sale to UAE, Saudi Arabia for evaluate

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WASHINGTON: The administration of President Joe Biden has briefly frozen a few of arms deal to the UAE and Saudi Arabia for a evaluate, officers stated on Wednesday.

The almost week-old administration has already signalled it plans to finish help for the Saudi-led, UAE-backed offensive in Yemen, which is going through a humanitarian disaster.

A State Division spokesperson stated the administration is “temporarily pausing the implementation” of various protection gross sales “to allow incoming leadership an opportunity to review.”

“This is a routine administrative action typical to most any transition, and demonstrates the administration’s commitment to transparency and good governance,” the spokesperson stated.

Learn extra: Israel opens embassy in UAE, reestablishes ties with Morocco

The transfer can also be geared toward “ensuring US arms sales meet our strategic objectives of building stronger, interoperable and more capable security partners.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken conducts a information briefing on Wednesday. -Reuters

Essentially the most high-profile sale is a $23 billion package deal of top-of-the-line F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates.

Former president Donald Trump’s administration agreed to the sale — the primary of the stealth-capable planes to an Arab nation — after the United Arab Emirates agreed to acknowledge Israel.

A possible halt to the sale might elevate questions on whether or not the United Arab Emirates will proceed its normalization with Israel, which Trump noticed as a key international coverage achievement.

Learn extra: The Trump period: What the world gained and misplaced

Lawmakers of Biden’s Democratic Celebration had voiced misgivings over the deal, fearing it could set off an arms race, however failed within the Senate to dam the sale whereas Trump was in workplace.

The package deal to the United Arab Emirates additionally included unarmed drones, whereas america has been making ready main gross sales of munitions to Saudi Arabia.

Trump had explicitly backed arms gross sales on business grounds, saying that the Saudis have been creating US jobs by shopping for from US producers.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated throughout his affirmation listening to that the Saudi offensive in opposition to Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who’re backed by Iran, has contributed to the dire humanitarian state of affairs in Yemen.

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