Saturday, December 31, 2011

US, UAE sign $3.5bn missile sales deal

Source: Press TV

The US has signed a deal to sell over three billion dollars worth of missiles and technology to the United Arab Emirates, its close ally in the Middle East.

The USD 3.48 billion agreement, which was signed on Christmas day, includes the sale of 96 missiles along with supporting technology and training, Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Friday.

On Thursday, the Obama administration announced the sale of USD 30 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to Saudi Arabia in addition to a USD 1.7 billion deal to upgrade the kingdom's Patriot missiles system.

The US also announced a USD 900 million sale of 209 Patriot missiles to Kuwait.

The oil-rich Middle East is considered vital for the US energy security.

The Obama administration has assured US lawmakers that military equipment in the Middle East does not constitute a threat against Israel.

The US has demonstrated support for popular uprisings in the Middle East while at the same time propped up authoritarian regimes in the region by selling to them billions of dollars worth of various types of weaponry.

In its Yearbook 2010, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) states that the US accounts for 43 percent of world military spending and 30 percent of global arms exports, making it the world's leader in both categories.

US arms sales to the Persian Gulf will amount to USD 123 billion; a USD 67.8 billion package for Saudi Arabia, USD 35.6 billion for the United Arab Emirates, USD 12.3 billion for Oman and USD 7.1 billion for Kuwait.

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