The U.S. President intends to bring the deal with the UAE to a close and will not allow Congress to stop him from
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday officially threatened to veto congressional attempts to block his plans to sell military products to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worth 23 billion dollars, Aljazeera writes.
The Senate should vote on the resolutions rejecting sales on Wednesday.
In its policy statement, the White House said sales directly support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by “allowing the UAE to contain growing aggressive behavior and threats from Iran” following a recent agreement to normalize relations with Israel.
The threat of a veto was expected. Trump’s administration told the U.S. Congress on November 10 that it had approved the broad sale in the UAE of products from General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp. The deal includes up to 50 F-35, the most advanced fighter in the world, more than 14 000 bombs and ammunition, and the second largest sale of U.S. drones to one country.
U.S. law requires Congress to consider major arms deals and allows senators to vote on resolutions that do not approve them.
But for resolutions to come into effect, they must pass the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-led House of Representatives and garner two-thirds of the vote in both houses to survive the Trump veto.
Critics said the Trump administration was seeking to accelerate sales because it brokered a deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel and provided too little information, including guarantees, to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
Some lawmakers are also concerned that they may violate U.S. guarantees that Israel will retain a military advantage over other countries in the region. But Israel, which enjoys strong support in the U.S. Congress, has said it has no objection to sales.
Past measures to block Trump’s arms deals have been taken by the House of Representatives and the Senate, but have not received enough support to overcome its veto.