US, Huawei 5G network security flags for Gulf allies

US officials said Thursday that the United States has raised its concerns with Gulf allies about a potential security risk in using Huawei technology for their 5G mobile infrastructure.

Washington says it poses a security risk, but has so far largely made public comments to European states and warned allies against using Chinese company equipment.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the US allegations raised last week during a visit by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, all of which are using its equipment.

On Thursday, Robert Strayer, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber ​​Policy, International Communications and Information, said that “We have shared a message about the importance of providing 5G technology and implementing risk-based security principles.”

Washington says Huawei could be used by Beijing and has threatened to cut off intelligence sharing with countries using its devices. China and Huawei deny the claims.

Washington has said it plans to deploy troops in Saudi Arabia as part of a wider deployment in the region.

Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet as the UAE hosts US troops supporting US military operations in the region.

Strayer, who was with Pai while visiting the region, told reporters at a conference call that, “We think that when applying a security-based framework, one would end up excluding Huawei from 5G deployments.”

Bahrain’s Telecommunications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed told Reuters in March that Huawei had met Gulf state standards and had no concerns.

Saudi officials and the United Arab Emirates have not commented on the US-Huawei case. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Emirates believe it can manage the risk.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also use 5G devices made by other tech companies, which Pai said Huawei was not the only option for countries that want to take a lead in disrupting the generation of mobile networks. next.

Pai said, “I think this was … important for our Gulf allies to listen to.”/

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