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UAE suspends talks on F-35 aircraft

Between geopolitical vetoes and differences on mutual purchase conditions

The United Arab Emirates officially announced in recent hours they will suspend talks with the US government for the purchase of 50 F-35 warplanes made by the US Lockheed Martin. The order would have been part of a deal worth 23 billion dollars that also includes the sale of 18 MQ-9 Reaper armed combat drones developed by General Atomics and advanced munitions.

"The United States remains the UAE's preferred supplier for advanced defense requirements. Negotiations on the F-35 could be reopened in the future", but for now there have been differences on how to address "mutual terms for the acquisition". "Technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions and cost-benefit analysis have led to our re-evaluation", revealed an Emirati official to the "Reuters" news agency. 

Slowing down the negotiations, as leaked in recent days, is concern from Washington over UAE-China relations, which have landed Huawei 5G technology in Abu Dhabi. In any case, the Emirati government remains one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East, so much so that it has agreed to normalize relations with Israel in 2020. 

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency