US Congress blocks Saudi arms sales

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

The US House voted Wed­nes­day to block $8.1 bil­lion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other al­lies, a re­buke of Don­ald Trump that will likely lead to a veto by the pres­i­dent.

Law­mak­ers, many of whom are out­raged with the king­dom over Riyadh’s role in the mur­der of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi last year, ap­proved three res­o­lu­tions that would pre­vent the con­tro­ver­sial sales an­nounced un­der emer­gency mea­sures ear­lier this year by Trump.

The res­o­lu­tions block­ing the sales have al­ready cleared the US Se­nate, and now go to the White House, where Trump is ex­pected to is­sue the third veto of his pres­i­dency.

While the House blocked the sales with a com­fort­able ma­jor­ity, it was about 50 votes shy of the two-thirds needed to over­ride Trump’s veto.

Trump is seek­ing 22 sep­a­rate sales of air­craft sup­port main­te­nance, pre­ci­sion-guided mu­ni­tions and other weapons and equip­ment to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emi­rates and Jor­dan at a mo­ment of height­ened ten­sions in the Mid­dle East.

Crit­ics say the arms sales would ag­gra­vate the dev­as­tat­ing war in Ye­men, where Saudi Arabia is lead­ing a Us-backed coali­tion in a bat­tle against the Ira­nian-sup­ported Huthi rebels. “When we see what’s go­ing on in Ye­men, it’s so im­por­tant for the United States to take a stand,” House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man Eliot En­gel said on the House floor.

The vet­eran Demo­crat con­curred that the threats from the Ira­nian-backed Huthis were real, “but that doesn’t mean we should just look the other way in the face of vi­o­lence and the slaugh­ter of civil­ians.”

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