On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump dismissed three resolutions, that Congress passed, to block several arms sales profiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which the president pushed with approval of Congress.
To block the arms deals worth more than $8 billion, bipartisan majorities except veto-proof majority voted earlier this month. The disposal may replenish part of the Saudi arms that have been used against civilians in Yemen’s civil war. However, the idea has been opposed by several lawmakers following the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Announcing the rejection, Trump said all three White House statements, “The misguided licensing prohibitions in the joint resolution directly conflict with the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.”
The Trump administration has insisted the arms sales are important to protect the region against an increasing threat from Iran. The move comes after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee decides to vote on two competing bipartisan bills to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia. The president has resisted congressional efforts to punish Saudi Arabia for human right abuses and Khashoggi’s murder.
The U.S intelligence officials say that the murder was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “The United States is very concerned about the conflict’s toll on innocent civilians and is working to bring the conflict in Yemen to an end,” Trump said in the veto statement.
“But we cannot end it through ill-conceived and time-consuming resolutions that fail to address its root causes,” he added. Congress is supposed to not have the votes to override the veto and does not have a consensus on how to proceed.