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WorldHouse blocks arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE in rebuke to Trump

01:57  18 july  2019
01:57  18 july  2019 Source:   politico.com

UAE says reducing troops in war-torn Yemen

UAE says reducing troops in war-torn Yemen The United Arab Emirates said Monday it was redeploying and reducing troops across war-torn Yemen and moving from a "military-first" strategy to a "peace-first" plan. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The UAE is a key partner in a Saudi-led military coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

The House voted on Wednesday to block President Donald Trump ’s emergency weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates , delivering a rebuke to U.S. strategic allies over their involvement in Yemen’s civil war and alleged human rights abuses.

“ Saudi Arabia doesn’t protect the United States from Iran,” said Graham. Also read: Senate to Vote on Blocking Saudi Arms Sale in Rebuke to Trump . Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed the resolutions, calling them an “overly blunt tool” that would hurt key relationships in the

House blocks arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE in rebuke to Trump© Andrew Harnik/AP Photo House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel called the president's emergency declaration “an extraordinary abuse of power.”

The House voted on Wednesday to block President Donald Trump’s emergency weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, delivering a rebuke to U.S. strategic allies over their involvement in Yemen’s civil war and alleged human rights abuses.

Trump has already threatened to veto all three resolutions, which passed the Democrat-led House with minimal Republican support.

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The House of Representatives voted to block some of President Donald Trump ’s emergency weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, delivering a strong rebuke to the White House that is almost sure to draw more presidential vetoes.

22 pending arms sales to three Arab nations were announced in late May utilizing an emergency provision contained in the Arms Export Control Act. "While I understand that Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of Mohammed bin Salman cannot be ignored," said Graham, adding "Now

But with Wednesday’s votes, lawmakers in the House and Senate — which approved the bills last month — again registered their disapproval of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump administration’s perfunctory response to it.

The votes also exposed Democratic and Republican lawmakers’ ongoing clashes with the president over his efforts to subvert congressional authority on foreign policy and national security issues, in addition to bipartisan anger over U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s bloody civil war.

“A phony emergency — an emergency designed to make yet another end run around Congress, to undermine the separation of powers, to trample on this body’s constitutional duties,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Tensions With Iran Reach the Point of Inevitability

Tensions With Iran Reach the Point of Inevitability Even though both sides insist they don’t want war, the existing tensions, combined with Iran’s anger at being denied the benefits of the nuclear agreement, mean that one miscalculated provocation could lead to a larger conflagration. “We live in a very dangerous environment,” the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said Thursday at the United Nations before news of the drone was made public. “The United States has pushed itself and the rest of the world into probably the brink of an abyss.

Many also expressed deep concern with Saudi Arabia and the UAE over the war in Yemen, where the two countries are battling Iran-backed Houthi Graham, normally a close Trump ally, underscored the unusual divide between the White House and some Republicans over Saudi Arabia in an emphatic

President Trump meets with Saudi Arabia 's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in March 2018. The Senate on Thursday passed three measures to block President Trump from using his emergency authority to complete several arms sales benefiting

“I’m sick and tired of it,” Engel added, calling the emergency declaration “an extraordinary abuse of power.”

Trump will veto the measures when they reach his desk — the third, fourth and fifth vetoes of his presidency. His veto will likely be sustained, as neither chamber would have enough votes to override it. A key Trump ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) led the Senate effort to block the weapon sales.

In May, Trump invoked his emergency authority to sidestep Congress’ ability to review arms sales, moving to approve more than $8 billion in weapon transfers — including precision-guided munitions — to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, in addition to the CIA, have blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s grisly murder last October inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, fueling bipartisan angst over Trump’s cozy relationship with the kingdom and his resistance to implementing human-rights sanctions.

Gulf tensions rise as US shoots down Iranian drone

Gulf tensions rise as US shoots down Iranian drone Tensions in the Gulf region mounted Thursday as US President Donald Trump said an American naval vessel shot down an Iranian drone that threatened the ship as it was entering the Strait of Hormuz. It was the first US military engagement with Iran following a series of increasingly serious incidents. Trump announced that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, "took defensive action" against the Iranian drone as it was "threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew." The drone was "immediately destroyed," Trump said, after it approached within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the Boxer, Trump said.

Donald Trump has vetoed three congressional resolutions to block the billion-dollar sales of weapons to key allies The White House argues that stopping the .1 billion arms sales would send a signal that the United States does not Government bids to resurrect ‘unlawful’ arms sales to Saudi Arabia .

Trump approved the emergency sale in May, which would include about billion in weaponry. The White House declared a national emergency to do so House Rebukes Trump With Votes To Block Emergency Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia , UAE . Joe Biden Lays Out Foreign Policy Plan To 'Repair’

But Trump and his foreign policy team have argued that supporting Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies is critical for countering Iran’s malign influence in the region. Tehran is backing Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been blamed for violence against civilians.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, called the House’s actions on Wednesday “dangerous.”

“One of the ways we can push back against Iran’s murderous aggression, is by empowering our partners in the region,” McCaul said. “Unfortunately, this irresponsible resolution handcuffs our ability to do so.”

But amid Trump’s refusal to punish Saudi Arabia and his decision to ignore a law requiring an investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, support for Riyadh on Capitol Hill has waned significantly. In May, Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz testified on Capitol Hill and pleaded with lawmakers to take action.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have kept up the pressure on the Trump administration, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who on Wednesday sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking the bureau to investigate Khashoggi’s murder.

They’ve also tried to stop the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, and earlier this year both chambers voted to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war, with lawmakers arguing that the crown prince and his leadership cannot be trusted.

Read More

Why 5 Freshman Democrats Sided With Trump And Saudi Arabia On A Key Yemen Vote.
When the House of Representatives voted earlier this month to ban U.S. assistance for Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen, the Democratic caucus was united ― except for five new members, who surprised their colleagues by joining most Republicans to oppose the measure. Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) all have national security experience, having served in either the military or the intelligence community.

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