US Senate Resolutions to Block F-35 Sale to UAE Fail
The US Senate voted to reject resolutions that would have blocked the Trump Administration’s plan to sell over than $23 billion in military equipment to the United Arab Emirates, including 50 F-35 advanced warplanes and weaponized MQ-9 Reaper drones. The votes on Wednesday were split mostly along party lines in the Senate, in which the Republicans have a slim majority. A 30-day window for Congress to block the sale closes on Friday. The White House had threatened to veto the resolutions if had passed, saying in a statement that providing the UAE with the weapons would “deter increasing Iranian aggressive behavior and threats issued in the wake of that peace deal.” The sale was announced weeks after Israel and the UAE signed a normalization agreement, though Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the time that the sale of the F-35s was not part of the deal. The Israeli government later withdrew any objection to the sale. Critics say that the sale could upend Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region, which the US has pledged to uphold.
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