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US lawmakers fight to block massive Trump-Saudi arms deal Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

US lawmakers fight to block massive Trump-Saudi arms deal

Rand Paul put forward a resolution of disapproval to block the arms deal [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 May, 2017

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US legislators have put forward a resolution of disapproval to block part of the agreed arms deal agreed between Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia.
US lawmakers put forward legislation on Thursday aimed at stopping parts of President Donald Trump's multi-billion dollar arms deal signed with Saudi Arabia, Reuters has reported.

Republican Rand Paul and Democrats Chris Murphy and Al Franken put forward a resolution of disapproval in the Senate to push for a vote on blocking part of the weapons sale to Riyadh.

The bipartisan bid seeks to block the sale of precision-guided munition and other offensive arms - worth around $500 million.

"Given Saudi Arabia's past support of terror, poor human rights record, and questionable tactics in its war in Yemen, Congress must carefully consider and thoroughly debate if selling them billions of dollars of arms is in our best national security interest at this time," Paul said in a statement.

Members of the US House of Representatives also took action against the planned sale on Thursday.

Republic Representative Ted Yoho and Democrat Ted Lieu asked the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for a hearing to review the sale of precision-guided munition to Saudi Arabia.

In December, Barack Obama's administration suspended the sale of precision-guided munition for fear the Saudis would use them on civilian targets in Yemen, where Riyadh is prosecuting a war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

However Trump said he seeks to encourage international arms sales as a way to create more jobs in the US.

The arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which was announced on Saturday during Trump's landmark visit to the kingdom, is reportedly worth $350 billion over 10 years.

It will see US defence firms send everything from ships and tanks to the latest anti-missile systems to Riyadh.

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