US Senate clears UAE arms sale


Continued US support enables the UAE to take on more of the burden for collective security.

By Agencies

Published: Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:25 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:27 PM

The UAE on Thursday welcomed the US Senate green light for President Donald Trump’s sale of high-tech weapons, including advanced drones and F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.

“The UAE deeply appreciates the consideration of all Senators on today’s votes. Continued US support enables the UAE to take on more of the burden for our collective security — ours, yours and our partners,” UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba tweeted.

The Senate voted 50-46 and 49-47, mostly along party lines, to stop consideration of resolutions seeking to block the weapons, killing them at least until President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.

Early on Wednesday, the Trump administration had issued a formal notice of its intention to veto the measures if they passed the Senate and House of Representatives.

The White House said the sales support US foreign policy and national security objectives by “enabling the UAE to deter increasing Iranian aggressive behaviour and threats” in the wake of its recent peace deal with Israel.

“It improves US-UAE interoperability and allows us to be more effective together. It makes us all safer. Open, tolerant, and future oriented, the UAE is charting a new positive path for the Middle East. We are committed to regional de-escalation and dialogue,” Otaiba said.

“We look forward to deepening our 49-year relationship with the US as we work together on pressing challenges like global health, climate, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and regional conflicts.”

Republican Senator Roy Blunt said that selling weapons to the UAE supported US jobs and provided “reinforcement of our friends who see common enemies and are working directly to move their country and their region in a much better direction”.

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