BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:40 A.M.) – On Wednesday, the US Senate failed to prevent a major arms deal between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
The Senate members voted 50 to 46 against a decision banning the sale of Reaper drones to the UAE, despite accusations by some senators of human rights violations and crimes in Yemen.
Earlier on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump formally threatened to veto efforts by Congress to block his plans to sell the UAE military equipment worth $23 billion.
In a statement, the White House said that the sales directly support US foreign policy and national security goals by “enabling the UAE to deter the increasing Iranian aggressive behavior and threats” in the wake of the recent peace agreement with Israel.
The threat of veto was anticipated, as the US administration told Congress on November 10 that it had approved the widespread sale to the UAE of products from General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp.
The deal includes up to 50 F-35s, the most advanced combat aircraft in the world, and more than 14,000 bombs and ammunition; The second largest sale of US drones to a single country.