Alwaght- A coalition of human rights have signed a letter condemning the sale of $23 billion worth of arms to the United Arab Emirates and urging the US Congress to block the deal.
“These sales undermine US interests and fuel civilian harm and human rights violations in Yemen, Libya and beyond,” read the letter from 29 groups, including the Project on Middle East Democracy, ALQST and Win Without War.
“Delivery of the sales would undermine US national security interests by fueling instability, violent conflict and radicalization in the Middle East and North Africa and would also send a signal of impunity for the UAE’s recent conduct, which includes likely violations of international law,” the groups said.
Three US senators earlier this month proposed legislation to halt the sale, which includes drones from privately held General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s and missiles made by Raytheon, setting up a showdown with President Donald Trump weeks before he is due to leave office.
US law allows senators to force votes on resolutions of disapproval on major arms deal. However, to become effective resolutions must first pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The measure would also need two-third majorities in both the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-led House to survive a presidential veto.
Trump administration officials briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the deal on Monday evening.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a sponsor of the resolutions of disapproval, responded later on Twitter: “Just a mind blowing number of unsettled issues and questions the Administration couldn’t answer. Hard to overstate the danger of rushing this.”
The sale was approved following a US-brokered agreement in September in which the UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israeli regime.