Senate blocks effort to stop arms sale to UAE
UPDATED 11:04 AM PT – Thursday, December 10, 2020
The Senate has rejected two measures attempting to block the Trump administration from completing an arms sale with the United Arab Emirates.
The Senate voted to move forward with the arms sale Wednesday after President Trump issued a warning, stating he would veto congressional efforts to block the weapons transfer of $23 billion in arms.
Last month, the Trump administration gave its formal approval to sell F-35 jets, armed drones and bombs to the UAE.
Congress was given a 30 day window to object and a group of senators led by Robert Menendez, Rand Paul and Chris Murphy quickly moved to create resolutions to block the sale while arguing the arms could be sold to China.
Opponents also expressed concerns the sale would place Israel at a military disadvantage in the Middle East.
However, the sale is tied to the UAE’s normalization efforts with Israel as part of the historic peace accords brokered by the Trump administration.
Additionally, supporters have said the move is necessary to enable the UAE’s stonewall efforts against Iran and terrorism in the area as the country has been a notable ally in these efforts.
Once the sale is finalized, the UAE will become the first Arab nation to secure the F-35 jet, which is one of the most advanced in the world.