Earlier, the House of Representatives voted against arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
US President Donald Trump put a veto on Congress resolutions blocking the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia as contrary to US interests.
Earlier, the House of Representatives voted to block the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and other allies in the amount of 8.1 billion dollars in a reproach to the president.
Lawmakers, many of whom resent Riyadh’s role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Hashoggi last year, adopted three resolutions to prevent the controversial sales announced by Trump earlier this year in emergency measures.
Sales blocking resolutions were also approved by the Senate.
In a letter to the Senate, Trump informed both his decision to impose a veto and noted that Congress resolutions “will weaken America’s global competitiveness and damage our country’s important relations with its allies and partners.”
He also stressed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “are a regional stronghold in the fight against the malicious activities of Iran and its customers.”
President Trump used his veto for the third time in all the years of his presidency.
While the decision of the House of Representatives was taken by a confident majority, it was less than two-thirds needed to override Trump’s veto.
Trump is seeking the conclusion of 22 separate contracts for the maintenance of aircraft, the sale of precision guided munitions and other weapons and equipment of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan during a period of heightened tension in the Middle East.
Critics say arms sales will exacerbate the devastating war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading a US-backed coalition in the fight against Iran-supported rebels Hutis. According to the UN, this war provoked the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.
“When we see what is happening in Yemen, it is very important that the United States take its position,” said Eliot Engel, chairman of the international affairs committee, speaking in the House of Representatives.
However, the leading Republican on the committee, Congressman Michael McCall, condemned the resolution as “dangerous” for the period when Iran expands its sphere of influence.
“Iran is reaching the tentacles of terror throughout the Middle East,” he said. “If we allow them to succeed, terrorism will flourish, instability will reign, and the security of our allies, for example, Israel, will be threatened.”
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