U.S. Reaches Deal To Sell F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets To Saudi Arabia

John Kirby, a spokesman for national security at the White House, said that the U.S. has almost reached a deal to sell F-35 stealth fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Reaches Deal To Sell F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets To Saudi Arabia 1

The White House announced on Monday that there had been substantial progress in the talks between the U.S. national security adviser and the Saudis over the weekend, bringing the two countries closer to a final agreement on a bilateral defense accord.

John Kirby, a spokesman for national security at the White House, stated that the bilateral deal between the two parties is “near-final” and “closer than we’ve ever been.”

The goal of the bilateral agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia is to finalize the negotiations for formal guarantees from the United States to protect the kingdom and to grant Saudi Arabia access to more sophisticated American weapons in exchange for Saudi Arabia ceasing to purchase Chinese arms and limiting Beijing’s involvement in the nation.

According to an American official, part of the agreement includes the supply of F-35 fighter jets and other weapons to Saudi Arabia by the United States.

For several reasons, the sale of F-35s to Saudi Arabia was not assured, but the fact that the plane was brought up in the conversation was important because Riyadh has long wanted the stealthy fighter jet. Any agreement must meet a long-standing commitment with Israel that U.S. weapons sales in the area cannot reduce Israel’s “qualitative military edge,” ensuring that the weapons Israel receives are “superior in capability” compared to those sold to its neighbors. Under an informal review procedure, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees, whose members have denounced the kingdom’s role in civilian fatalities in Yemen, have the authority to examine and halt arms deliveries. The manufacturer of the jet, Lockheed Martin Corp., forwarded a request for comment to the government.

According to the person, the defense accord would not resemble a NATO-style arrangement.

Over the weekend, Kirby reported, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi officials conducted conversations with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, during which progress was achieved.

According to a second U.S. official, “We are very close to an understanding of the major elements between us.”

“We of course will also have to then work on pieces that relate to the Israelis and Palestinians, which is a critical component of any potential normalization deal,” the official said.

The security agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia is anticipated to include sharing with Riyadh new technology, such as artificial intelligence.

After the agreement is finished, it will be a part of a larger package that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be presented with, allowing him to choose whether to accept compromises in exchange for a deal that normalizes relations with Saudi Arabia.

A U.S.-Saudi deal’s timeline, according to Kirby, is uncertain. He stated that a Palestinian state is one of Biden’s ultimate goals, but given that Israel and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas are at war in Gaza, a deal on a state is unlikely to be reached anytime soon.

“Of course, the president remains committed to a two-state solution. He recognizes that you know, that’s not something we’re going to see any time in the future,” he said.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that, in a report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office revealed that Lockheed Martin is running out of parking space for F-35s that the Pentagon has refused to take.

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