The US Senate rejected two resolutions Wednesday seeking to block $23 billion worth of arms sales to the United Arab Emirates.
Senators voted 47-49 on a resolution opposing the sale of F-35 jets and 46-50 on one opposing the sale of Reaper drones, falling short of a simple majority, or 51 votes, in the 100-member Senate.
The resolutions were introduced by Democratic Senators Robert Menendez and Chris Murphy and Republican Senator Rand Paul.
Speaking ahead of the votes, Paul said it is time to carefully study the situation in the Middle East and to consider the effects of an accelerating arms race in the region.
“This is why our government should not be rushing into approving this sale,” he said.
Menendez, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said many aspects of the proposed sale remain conceptual.
“We are being asked to support a significant transfer of advanced US technology without clarity on a number of key details regarding the sale or sufficient answers to critical national security questions,” he said.
The UAE’s Ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, welcomed the votes, saying the “continued US support enables the UAE to take on more of the burden for our collective security – ours, yours and our partners.”
Source: Anadolu news agency