As anticipated by many people around the world, Biden’s administration will be tough on Saudi Arabia and Israel during his tenure. The United States has imposed a temporary ban on two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates which were approved by Trump in the final weeks of his office.
The temporary freeze is on selling 50 F-35 fighter jets to the UAE and other deals with Saudi Arabia.
U.S. officials said it isn’t unusual for a new administration to review arms sales approved by a predecessor, and that despite the pause, many of the transactions are likely to ultimately go forward.
The most high profile sale is of $ 23 billion of F-35 jets to UAE. It’s the first of the stealth-capable planes to an Arab nation — after the United Arab Emirates agreed to recognize Israel.
A potential halt to the sale could raise questions about whether the United Arab Emirates will continue its normalization with Israel, which Trump saw as a key foreign policy achievement.
President Biden is seeking to ensure that American weapons aren’t used in Yemen, as its conflict with the Iranian-aligned Houthis has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and widespread hunger.
Both UAE and Saudi Arabia are critical US allies in the Middle East and supported Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose sanctions on Tehran.