US Senate to vote blocking arms sale to 3 Arab countries

Washington, June 20 (IANS) The US Senate will vote on Thursday to block President Donald Trump’s administration’s effort to complete arms sale to three Arab countries without congressional review, a Democrat Senator has confirmed.

On Wednesday night, Senator Robert Menendez sand Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a consensus on holding votes on resolutions to block the 22 pending sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan, reports Xinhua news agency.

The resolutions, which only need a simple majority, are anticipated to be able to pass the Senate, paving the way for a showdown with the White House.

The move demonstrates lawmakers’ discontent with the Trump administration’s decision to bypass the review process of Congress to complete arms sales to the three countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last month that the Trump administration would invoke emergency provision of the Arms Export Control Act to complete the $8.1 billion arms transfer to the three Arab countries to deter Iranian threats.

The military equipment includes aircraft support maintenance, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), munitions and other supplies, according to the state department.

Citing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen conflict and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the US Congress has put on hold the pending arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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