The United States said on Wednesday that it would move forward on a deal with the United Arab Emirates to sell F-35 fighter jets and drones.

“The UAE has informed the U.S. that it will suspend discussions to acquire the F-35,” a UAE official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the deal would go ahead.

“We wanted to make sure, for example, that our commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge is assured, [and] we wanted to make sure that we could do a thorough review of any technologies that are sold or transferred to other partners in the region, including the UAE,” said Blinken, according to the report.

The deal includes the purchase of 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 MQ-9B drones and advanced munitions, sources told Reuters earlier this year.

A Gulf source had told Reuters that the Americans were putting up obstacles that included specific requirements that made the deal unfeasible.

JNS

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