US Still Open To Talks With UAE on F-35 Jets Deal

US says it still open to talks with the United Arab Emirates over a stalled $23 billion deal to sell F-35 jets.

Earlier this week the UAE informed the US that it will suspend discussions to acquire F-35 fighter jets, citing technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis led to the re-assessment.

“They raised questions and concerns. We have questions and concerns of our own, and we’ll work our way through that,” Pentagon Spokesman John F. Kirby told a briefing on Friday.

“We still would like to see this sale go through, and we’re still open to dialogue with the UAE about it,” he added.

“There are end-user requirements with every foreign military sale,” Kirby said, adding “they’re important safeguards when we participate in foreign military sales, and they’re non-negotiable.”

The UAE had signed an agreement to purchase 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones in January.

Earlier, Kirby had said the US partnership with the UAE was more strategic and complex than a weapons sale and Washington was committed to working with Abu Dhabi to address their questions.

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