Three members of the US Senate announced that a group of members of the Senate opposes the first major arms deal to Saudi Arabia during the administration of President Joe Biden, against the background of Riyadh’s involvement in the Yemeni conflict; According to the agency “Reuters”.
Republican members of the House of Representatives Rand Paul and Mike Lee, as well as Bernie Sanders, who is close to Democrats, introduced a joint bill to block the said arms deal.
While many US lawmakers regard Saudi Arabia as an important partner in the Middle East, they criticize the kingdom for its participation in the Yemen war, which the United Nations says has caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
Lawmakers refuse to agree to several arms deals to Saudi Arabia without assurances that US equipment will not be used to kill civilians.
The deal approved by the US State Department includes 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 advanced medium-range air-to-air (AMRAAM) missiles, 596 LAU-128 launchers, as well as containers and support equipment. Parts, engineering and technical support provided by the US government and contractors.
“This deal could accelerate an arms race in the Middle East and jeopardize the security of US military technology,” Paul said.
The Biden administration has said it adopts a policy of selling defensive weapons only to its Gulf ally.
When the State Department approved the deal, it stated that it “is fully consistent with the administration’s pledge to pursue diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in Yemen.”
She added that the missiles ensured that “Saudi Arabia has the means to defend itself from air attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis.”
And the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the deal is not enough to complete it.