DOHA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will halt talks with the United States over a 23-billion-dollar weapons contract that includes buying the advanced F-35 fighter jets, the Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
The UAE will "suspend discussions" on the deal, while meetings between the UAE and the U.S. slated for later this week at the Pentagon will go forward as planned, reported the Al Jazeera, citing a statement from the Emirati embassy in Washington, D.C.
But discussions for the F-35 deal "may be re-opened in the future," the embassy was quoted as saying.
Technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis led to the re-assessment, a UAE official told the press.
The news about the weapons deal with the UAE was first disclosed by former U.S. President Donald Trump's administration last year.
The deal would include up to the sale of 50 F-35 jets produced by the U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin. If the sale is completed, the UAE will become only the second country in the region to own the stealth fighter jets after Israel.
Reports said that the F-35 deal was part of the U.S.-brokered agreement to normalize the ties between the UAE and Israel, which was signed in September 2020.