The White House is working to support arms sales in the UAE

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, took part in a Senate Republican call on Tuesday for the planned $ 23 billion sale of F-35 fighters, Reaper drones and ammunition to the UAE, according to a Senate assistant.

Senators from both sides voiced various concerns about the sale, including the speed of sales and its potential impact on human rights and wider regional security, and whether Congress was properly involved in the process.

CNN had previously reported that Kushner had secretly tried to sell the weapons to the UAE, causing confusion and frustration in the agencies and congressional committees that are usually involved in such a sale, but remained in the dark. The president’s son-in-law was also a key figure in the Abraham Agreement, an agreement to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel that paved the way for the proposed sale.

CNN turned to the White House for comment.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, announced on Twitter Last week, Robert Menendez, a Democratic Senator from New Jersey, and Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kennucky, tabled a privileged decision to block sales.
The whirlwind honeymoon of the UAE and Israel went beyond normalization

This resolution is expected to be voted on this week. It’s not clear if there’s enough support to make it go away, but a Democratic aide told CNN that “the fact that the White House has such a full court press suggests that the counting of votes is nervous. due to “.

Even if the measure would gain enough support in Congress, it would likely face a veto from Trump. The President vetoed a number of bilateral measures adopted by both chambers of Congress to restrict arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in July 2019.

In his address to reporters on Tuesday, R. Clarke Cooper, the deputy secretary of state for politico-military affairs, said that before the end of the 30-day congressional notice period, the State Department will continue to “work with the UAE on the letters. Offer and acceptance, which finalize any transaction. “

“We will continue to have a healthy and fruitful dialogue with Congress on the process as it progresses,” he said.

Cooper told reporters that “the diligence and then expediency of these sales came in the wake of the Abraham Convention,” claiming that Iran’s “recognition of the Gulf country by Israel posed an” additional risk “to the region.

A senior State Department official told CNN that State Department officials had made a number of calls with Congress about arms sales and that the main concern was the security of technology transfer and the impact on Israel’s quality military leadership – comparative technology, tactics and other advantages in its weapons that allow it to maintain military superiority in the region.

House Veto Approves Defense Bill After Trump Urges GOP Opposition

Israeli government officials have indicated they are not opposed to selling to the UAE, but there are still concerns about technology transfer – and how to prevent sensitive technology from falling into the hands of opponents.

“You can’t track these sales faster until you’re sure the technology transfer is safe and we can’t tell members of Congress we have all the necessary assurances,” a senior State Department official said.

CNN has previously reported that weapons sold by the United States to Saudis and emirates have been handed over to al-Qaeda-linked fighters, hard-line Salafi militias and other factions waging war in Yemen. The Trump administration has clarified the UAE against the violations.