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Three US Senators introduce resolutions to stop arms sales to the UAE


WASHINGTON – Three US Senators announced on Wednesday that they would introduce four resolutions aiming to halt arms sales to the United Arab Emirates. The Trump administration formally notified Congress earlier this month of its intention to sell over $23 billion worth of F-35 joint strike fighter jets and other advanced systems.  

US Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rand Paul (R-KY), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) announced they are introducing four separate Joint Resolutions of Disapproval, “rejecting the Trump administration’s effort to provide the United Arab Emirates with a precedent-setting aircraft and myriad other weapons systems.”

“In an effort to rush this sale of incredibly sophisticated weaponry, the Trump administration circumvented the informal congressional review process that grants the Congressional committees of jurisdiction time to ensure proposed arms sales of this magnitude are consistent with US values, national security objectives, and the safety of our allies,” the three said in a joint statement.

“We are introducing these bipartisan resolutions out of a shared understanding that Congress must strongly assert its statutory authority over our nation’s foreign arms sales,” Menendez said in a statement. “As I tried to warn the Trump administration, circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible,” the New Jersey Senator added. He went on to say that there are a number of outstanding concerns as to “how these sales would impact the national security interests of both the United States and of Israel.”

Senator Murphy said that he supports the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), “but nothing in that agreement requires us to flood the region with more weapons and facilitate a dangerous arms race.”

“The Emiratis are an important security partner, but their recent behavior indicates that these weapons may be used in violation of US and international law,” the Connecticut Senator added. “The UAE has violated past arms sales agreements, resulting in US arms ending up in the arms of dangerous militia groups, and they have failed to comply with international law in Libya and Yemen. A sale this large and this consequential should not happen in the waning days of a lame duck presidency, and Congress must take steps to stop this dangerous transfer of weapons.”

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