WORLD US Senate votes to block arms sale to three Arab countries

WORLD

US Senate votes to block arms sale to three Arab countries

Xinhua

06:35, June 21, 2019

us senate.jpeg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., departs the chamber after appealing for lawmakers to vote against more than a dozen resolutions aimed at blocking the Trump administration's sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The US Senate voted on Thursday to block the Trump administration's effort to complete 22 arms sale to three Arab countries without congressional review.

With the endorsement of several Republican senators, the Senate voted 53-45 on two resolutions to block two of the sales, and later voted 51-45 to block the rest 20 arms sales.

The votes on Thursday demonstrated lawmakers' discontent with the Trump administration's decision last month to bypass the review process of Congress to complete the 8.1-billion-US-dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.

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.

The Trump administration announced last month that it would invoke "emergency" provision of the Arms Export Control Act to complete 22 pending arms sales to the three US regional partners to deter Iranian threats.

"These partnerships are not a blank check for weapons and direct support for a campaign that is decidedly working against US interests in the region," said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who sponsored the resolutions.

House Democrats have pledged that they would also pass resolutions blocking the sale, according to US media.

However, neither chamber is expected to gain the two-thirds votes necessary to override vetoes from the Trump administration. US media reported that the White House had planned to veto congressional efforts to block arms sale.

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