‘Not to Support Offensive Activities’: Blinken Announces New Approach to Saudi Arm Sales

The homicide of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s navy actions towards the Houthis in Yemen has made ties between the US and the dominion problematic. The lately revealed intelligence report blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s homicide has grow to be a testing floor for relations between Washington and Riyadh.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underlined in a press briefing at Virtual Trip to Canada that the US will change its strategy to the Saudi kingdom in issues regarding armaments concerning the “policies that Saudi Arabia is persuing.”

As he famous, the US is reconsidering its ties with the Saudi Arabia “not to rupture the connection, however to recalibrate” it to be more in line with US “pursuits and values.”

Commenting on future weapons gross sales to the dominion, the highest US diplomat acknowledged that Washington would “remain committed to the defense of the kingdom.”

Blinken added that the US would guarantee “what it provides goes to the defense of the kingdom, not to its ability to prosecute offensive operations.”

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REUTERS / HANDOUTSaudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a commencement ceremony for the ninety fifth batch of cadets from the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 23, 2018.

As Reuters reported earlier, citing sources within the US state division, Biden’s administration is defining extra particularly offensive and defensive weaponry, in addition to tools and coaching, because it desires to restrict the long run gross sales of armaments to the dominion for “defensive” weapons.

According to the supply, the White House desires to finish the Saudi navy marketing campaign towards the Houthis in Yemen.

Shortly after Biden took workplace, he suspended sure arms gross sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to rethink offers that had been struck by the Trump administration within the eleventh hour of his time period. The most up-to-date multi-billion greenback deal included provides of precision plane munitions to the quantity of $478 million.

Back to Congress

Blinken additionally acknowledged that any determination of weapons gross sales to the dominion can be taken in “full consultations” with Congress, noting, in an obvious jab at Trump, that the observe was “something that we have gotten away from in the past.”

In May 2019, the Trump administration notified Congress that it supposed to promote further weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. US legislation calls for {that a} president notify Capitol Hill lawmakers about potential arms gross sales, however the former has the correct to skip this process if there’s a particular risk to nationwide safety. Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited what he described as a “state of emergency” due to a “threat” posed by Iran.

Congress issued a decision to block the arm gross sales and the invoice was accepted in each chambers, however Trump vetoed the initiative in July 2019 and the Republican-controlled Senate failed to achieve the wanted majority to overturn his veto.

Sourse: sputniknews.com

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