Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organizations have signed a letter against the sale of $ 23 billion worth of missiles, fighter jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates and are asking Congress to block the deal.
“The hope is that these sales will stop altogether,” said Seth Binder of Project on Middle East Democracy, which led the effort. “If this is not possible in the short term, it will be an important signal to the Biden administration that there is a group of organizations opposed to the supply of these weapons.”
Three U.S. Senators drafted a sales end bill, including privately-owned General Atomics drones, Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighters and Raytheon missiles, clashing with President Donald Trump just weeks before he is due to leave office. …
US law regulating large arms deals allows senators to vote on resolutions that do not approve of them. However, for resolutions to take effect, they must be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, which rarely opposes the president. The bill also needs to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
The letter, which will be sent to lawmakers and the State Department, said: “The planned arms sales to the UAE, a party to the conflicts in Yemen and Libya, will contribute to the damage to civilians and further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.”
The letter was signed by human rights organizations in the region, including the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Research (CIHRS) and Mwatana for Human Rights.
The UAE Embassy in Washington told Reuters: “Closely following US interests and values, the UAE’s armed forces are a powerful deterrent to aggression and an effective response to international terrorism.”