Two Democratic senators and one Republican senator on Wednesday said they would introduce legislation seeking to halt the Trump administration’s effort to sell more than $23 billion of drones and other weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reports.
Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Chris Murphy and Republican Senator Rand Paul announced they would introduce four separate resolutions of disapproval of President Donald Trump’s plan.
The three added that the Trump administration, seeking to rush the sale of the sophisticated weaponry, circumvented the normal congressional review process. They said the State and Defense Departments also refused to respond to inquiries about how the administration would deal with national security risks associated with the proposed sales.
In the wake of the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, the Trump administration has accelerated a push to sell the F-35 stealth fighter and advanced armed drones to the UAE.
In late October, the White House notified Congress that it intends to sell the F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates. Subsequent reports said the US also plans to sell 18 sophisticated armed aerial drones to the UAE.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently announced that Israel would not oppose a US sale of advanced weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates.
US lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have expressed concern over the potential sale of F-35 jets to the UAE and vowed to ensure that Israel can maintain its qualitative military edge.
President-elect Joe Biden’s aides have also expressed concern about the Trump administration’s plans to sell stealth combat aircraft to the United Arab Emirates.