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UAE envoy in US: 'We are confident F-35 jets sale will go through'

F-35 Lightning fighter jet performs during AVALON 2019 - the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition in Geelong, Australia on 1 March 2019. [Recep Şakar - Anadolu Agency]
F-35 Lightning fighter jet performs during AVALON 2019 - the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition in Geelong, Australia on 1 March 2019. [Recep Şakar - Anadolu Agency]

The UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al-Otaiba, confirmed that the Joe Biden administration is about to complete reviewing pending arms sales to the Emirates.

Al-Otaiba said: "Should they review it? They absolutely should, but they're going to find what we already know. It was done through a very straightforward negotiating process."

The ambassador said during an online forum organised by the Washington Institute on Monday that the review undertaken by the new US administration is "formalic".

"At the time when the review is taking place, everything is still going. I am sure it will go as we expected."

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"If you are going to be less present and involved in the Middle East, you cannot at the same time deprive your partners, who you expect to do more, from the tools they need."

The UAE concluded a $23 billion deal, which included the purchase of 50 F-35s, 18 drones and other weapons, on the last day of former US President Donald Trump's mandate.

A US State Department official said last month that the Biden administration decided to temporarily suspend some arms sales to American allies until reviews had been carried out.

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