US Senate fails to overturn Saudi, UAE arms sales

30 July 2019

The US Senate has failed to secure the votes necessary to overturn a presidential veto of its attempt to block a multi-billion dollar arms package for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bypassed Congress to fast-track the USD8.1 billion sale, citing the need to bolster the capabilities of regional allies against a higher threat level from Iran.

However, as congressional approval was not sought, the move was deemed undemocratic by opponents. Questions were also asked on human rights grounds, as it is assumed that the equipment will be used to support Saudi and UAE operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which have attracted criticism due to the number of civilian casualties.

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