The Biden administration has temporarily halted U.S. arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, according to media reports, citing U.S. officials.

The $23 billion U.S. sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, which was reached after the UAE normalized ties with Israel, is currently under review by the administration, which has not made a decision as to whether the sale will actually occur.

The U.S. State Department called the temporary hold “a routine administrative action,” as new administrations usually review significant arms sales.

“The department is temporarily pausing the implementation of some pending U.S. defense transfers and sales under Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales to allow incoming leadership an opportunity to review,” said the department. “This is a routine administrative action typical to most any transition and demonstrates the administration’s commitment to transparency and good governance, as well as ensuring U.S. arms sales meet our strategic objectives of building stronger, interoperable and more capable security partners.”

Biden administration officials have repeatedly expressed criticism over the F-35 sale and arms sales to Saudi Arabia with the latter using American arms in its war in Yemen.


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