Biden to press ahead with $23.4bn UAE arms deal

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A number of people stand on the rubble of bombed out buildings in Yemen

Joe Biden is pushing ahead with plans drawn up under the Trump presidency, to export $23.4bn worth of weapons to the United Arab Emirates, despite a pledge not to support "offensive operations" in Yemen. Biden placed the plan under review, but a State Department spokesperson told the Huffington Post in mid-April that Biden "intends to move forward with these proposed defense sales to the UAE, even as we continue reviewing details and consulting with Emirati officials to ensure we have developed mutual understandings with respect to Emirati obligations before, during, and after delivery." The UAE is playing a major role in the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, which since 2015 has attacked civilians and caused a humanitarian crisis.

If the deal is approved, the UAE will receive 50 F35 advanced war planes, more than a dozen military drones, and billions of dollars worth of ammunition. In December 2020 nearly all Democratic senators voted to try and block the deal, which was originally drawn up by Trump's administration.

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