The United Arab Emirates has completed the signing of a $23 billion agreement with the United States to purchase defense equipment and up to 50 U.S. F-35 fighter jets. In a statement on its website, the UAE Embassy in Washington said it has finalized "letters of agreement (LOAs) with the U.S. government for the acquisition of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and other defense equipment, as previously announced.
The embassy added that the LOAs were closed on Tuesday and confirmed the terms of the UAE purchase, including costs, technical specifications and delivery schedules. The contracts include "up to 50 F-35A fighters valued at $10.4 billion, 18 MQ-9B drones valued at $2.97 billion, and various munitions valued at $10 billion," the statement said. It added that the latest defense package, signed on the last day of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump's term in office, "confirms the partnership between the UAE and the United States by enhancing military interoperability to counter evolving regional threats.
In addition, the embassy noted that the agreement was also "consistent with the U.S. bipartisan national defense strategy of allowing the partners to take greater responsibility for their own and collective security in the Middle East. The emirate mission also noted that the U.S. Senate had rejected an attempt to block the sales in December of last year.
The embassy's statement also reiterated that the UAE was committed to reducing tension and to a new regional dialogue. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said Thursday that the UAE looked forward to working with U.S. President Joe Biden "to overcome common global challenges" and was "ready to strengthen efforts to support peace in our region.