Biden pauses weapons sales to UAE, Saudi Arabia
The Biden Administration is hitting the brakes on the relaxed weapons sales policies of the Trump administration - at least for now.
The United States is reviewing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorised by former President Donald Trump, a move that Secretary of State Antony Blinken said was “typical” of a new administration.
In his first press briefing on Wednesday, Blinken said the review aims “to make sure that what is being considered is something that advances our strategic objectives and advances our foreign policy”.
“That’s what we’re doing at this moment,” he told reporters.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Wednesday that the Biden administration has imposed a temporary freeze on billions of dollars in weapons sales to the two countries, including the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and F-35 fighters to the UAE.
The move comes one week after Biden, who has promised to “reassess” Washington’s relationship with Riyadh, was inaugurated. Since taking office, he has signed a string of executive actions to review or reverse some of Trump’s key policies.
Trump oversaw a close-knit US relationship with both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in line with his staunch support for Israel and “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
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