US freezes sales of missiles to Saudi Arabia and F-35s to UAE as it reviews Trump-era arms deals

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The US has temporarily frozen some pending arms sales to allied states while the Biden administration reviews weapons deals agreed under President Donald Trump, according to officials at the State Department.

The move affects precision-guided missiles sold to Saudi Arabia and F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among other deals not identified by the State Department.

American arms manufacturers Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin both have contracts with the two Arab nations.

“This is a routine administrative action typical to most any transition, and demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to transparency and good governance,” a spokesperson for the department said on Wednesday.

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US green lights sale of 3,000 bombs worth $290 million to Saudi Arabia & flurry of other Middle East arms deals

Just last week, the US inked a deal with the UAE to supply it with up to 50 F-35 jets and as many as 18 armed drones, as part of a $23-billion weapons consignment, the Emirati embassy in Washington said. The deal had been announced in November under the Trump administration, and a Senate effort to block it the following month failed to secure majority backing.

In December, the US State Department also gave the go-ahead for the sale of 3,000 precision-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs to Saudi Arabia, in a deal worth $290 million.

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