The Biden administration has imposed a temporary freeze on billions of dollars in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Wall Street Journal reported on January 27.
US officials told the newspaper that Washington is now reviewing weapon contracts approved by former President Donald Trump.
One of the deals being reviewed is a $23 billion arms deal from General Atomics, Lockheed and Raytheon Technologies Corp to the UAE. The deal includes the supply of 50 stealth F-35 fighter jets.
Another deal that’s being examined by the Biden administration includes the sale of thousands of precision-guided munitions to Riyadh for $290 million.
Commenting on the Wall Street Journal report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters the review is “typical” of a new administration.
According to Blinken, the review aims “to make sure that what is being considered is something that advances our strategic objectives and advances our foreign policy”.
Former President Trump, who enjoyed close relations with Israel and Gulf states, authorized the deals on a whim before leaving office earlier this month.
President Joe Biden criticized Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen in the past. He even promised to “reassess” US relations with the Kingdom once in office. The review of arms deals with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, however, appears to be nothing more than a standard process.
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