Emirati Envoy Expects Examined Exchange Eventually Executed
As the new White House administration continues its review of arms sales by former President Donald Trump, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington on Monday insisted his country “did everything by the book” when it purchased $23 billion worth of defense equipment from the United States. “Everything is still proceeding while undergoing a review at the same time. I am confident it will end up in the right place,” Amb. Yousef Al Otaiba said, adding with a jab: “If you are going to have less of a presence and less involvement in the Middle East you can’t at the same time take tools away from your partners who are expected to do more.” Hours before officially leaving office, Trump finalized the mammoth deal, which includes the sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets and 18 armed drones to Abu Dhabi. The pact was a side deal to the September normalization accord between Israel and the UAE. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed not to oppose the weapons sale in return for UAE’s recognition of Israel, without consulting or notifying his military and defense ministry.