Donald Trump Vetoes Measures to End Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

27 Juillet, 2019, 00:25 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican.

The US Senate will vote within days on whether to override President Donald Trump's vetoes of legislation to block the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday. His move came on Wednesday after both chambers of Congress voted to prevent the sale.

Since the killing of dissident US -based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated with the administration's hesitation to punish the kingdom and rein in de facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "There is clearly no level to which this Administration will not stoop to curry favor with the brutal Saudi leadership".

"The blood of Jamal Khashoggi and the innocent people of Yemen is on the president's hands", Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) tweeted after Trump vetoed the bipartisan measures, which passed last month after the president attempted to skirt Congress and unilaterally authorize over $8 billion in arms sales to the repressive Gulf nations. "And the United States has to reconsider because it's a partner in this humanitarian crisis", Bukhaiti said.

Lawmakers want Washington to push Riyadh to improve its human rights record and do more to avoid civilian casualties in the four-year-long war in Yemen, where the Saudis and UAE are leading an air campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Risch's bill, the Saudi Arabia Diplomatic Review Act, would not block weapons sales, and focuses instead on barring travel by members of the Saudi royal family, although not the king or crown prince.

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The airstrikes have repeatedly hit sites with large numbers of civilians such as markets and weddings.

The Saudi-led coalition claimed the drone was intercepted and that no airports or military sites had been hit.

In a series of veto statements sent to reporters, Trump described the resolutions as "ill-conceived and time-consuming" that failed to address the root causes of the conflicts in Yemen. "But we can not end it through ill-conceived and time-consuming resolutions that fail to address its root causes".

The Pentagon has opposed legislation that would restrict USA military aid or advice to Saydi Arabia. The first - and the only one not involving the conflict in Yemen - was in March, where he vetoed a resolution that would end his declaration of a national emergency on the southern border.

In April, Trump issued his second veto when he blocked a bipartisan resolution to end USA involvement in Yemen hostilities, calling it an "unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities".

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