The US President vetoed three bills aimed at blocking his administration from selling American-made weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran Press/America: The measures would have stopped an imminent shipment of 124,000 precision-guided missiles and the fuses to detonate them, among other items, USA Today reported. 

In his veto message on Thursday, US President Donald Trump said: "The measures would weaken America's global competitiveness and damage the important relationships we share with our allies and partners."

Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat and chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, blasted Trump's decision to veto the bills. 

"The President’s veto sends a grim message that America’s foreign policy is no longer rooted in our core values – namely respect for human rights – and that he views Congress not as a coequal branch of government, but an irritant to be avoided or ignored," Engel said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced $8.1 billion weapons deal with the Saudis, the UAE, and Jordan last month. Pompeo's move sidestepped the normal congressional approval process by declaring a national security emergency. 

Pompeo claimed: "Threats from Iran, a foe of the United States and Saudi Arabia, justified the decision to evade congressional review."

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on June 29, 2019, shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shaking hands with US President Donald Trump during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo: Bandar Al-Jaloud, AFP/Getty Images)

However, lawmakers said there was no 'emergency' and that Pompeo was just bypassing Congress because he knew lawmakers would not support the sale.

The GOP-led Senate voted in June to block the entire weapons deal, while the Democratic-controlled House approved a narrower package to ban the precision-guided missiles and other items.

US lawmakers approach toward Saudi Arabia

Lawmakers in both chambers have pushed for a major shift in America's close relationship with Saudi Arabia, a step that Trump has staunchly resisted. 

Democrats and Republicans alike say that Saudi Arabia has become an increasingly unreliable ally and that the kingdom should face a rebuke for its role in the slaying of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Many members of Congress have also grown alarmed by the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians and created a horrific humanitarian crisis.

Related news:

US wants to keep Yemen war going to sell arms to Saudi Arabia

Also earlier on April 16th, Trump had vetoed a US Congressional resolution calling for US military withdrawal from the Saudi alliance in the war on Yemen.

Till now, Trump has repeatedly advocated arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The United States has supported the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen since the start of the Saudi Alliance invasion of Yemen (March 2015), providing intelligence and arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Saudi coalition's assault on Yemen has killed more than 16,000 Yemeni people, destroyed infrastructure and spread poverty, unemployment and contagious diseases in this poor Arab country.


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