Middle East

U.S. Arms Sales to UAE Draw Fire from 29 Rights Groups

Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organizations have signed a letter opposing the sale of $23 billion worth of missiles, fighter jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates and asking the U.S. Congress to block the deal.

The letter from the rights groups, sent to lawmakers and the State Department, said the planned arms sale would fuel continued harm to civilians and exacerbate humanitarian crises due to conflicts in Yemen and Libya.

“The hope is to stop these sales altogether,” said Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy, who spearheaded the effort. “But if that is not possible in the short term, this sends an important signal to the incoming Biden administration that there is a diverse group of organizations that oppose delivery of these weapons.”

Three U.S. senators earlier this month proposed legislation to halt the sale, which includes drones from privately held General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s and missiles made by Raytheon, setting up a showdown with President Donald Trump weeks before he is due to leave office.

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