WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twenty-nine arms management and human rights organizations have signed a letter opposing the sale of $23 billion worth of missiles, fighter jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates and asking the U.S. Congress to dam the deal.
“The hope is to stop these sales altogether,” mentioned Seth Binder, advocacy officer on the Challenge on Center East Democracy, who spearheaded the hassle. “But when that isn’t doable within the brief time period, this sends an necessary sign to the incoming Biden administration that there’s a various group of organizations that oppose supply of those weapons.”
Three U.S. senators earlier this month proposed laws to halt the sale, which incorporates drones from privately held General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s and missiles made by Raytheon, organising a showdown with President Donald Trump weeks earlier than he is because of depart workplace.
U.S. legislation permits senators to drive votes on resolutions of disapproval on main arms deal. Nonetheless, to develop into efficient resolutions should first cross each the Senate and the Home of Representatives. The measure would additionally want two-third majorities in each the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-led Home to outlive a presidential veto.
Trump administration officers briefed the Senate International Relations Committee concerning the deal on Monday night.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a sponsor of the resolutions of disapproval, responded afterward Twitter: “Just a mind blowing number of unsettled issues and questions the Administration couldn’t answer. Hard to overstate the danger of rushing this.”
The sale was permitted following a U.S.-brokered settlement in September by which the UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
The letter from the rights teams, despatched to lawmakers and the State Division, mentioned the deliberate arms sale would gasoline continued hurt to civilians and exacerbate humanitarian crises attributable to conflicts in Yemen and Libya.
Signatories embrace human rights organizations from the area, together with the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Research and Mwatana for Human Rights.
The UAE embassy mentioned in a press release, “Aligned closely with US interests and values, the UAE’s highly capable military is a forceful deterrent to aggression and an effective response to violent extremism.”
Reporting by Mike Stone; further reporting by Patricia Zengerle; enhancing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler