Bid to block US arms sale to Saudis faces tough opposition

By REUTERS
September 21, 2016 03:11

WASHINGTON  - The US Senate will vote on Wednesday on a measure to block the sale of tanks and other military equipment worth $1.15 billion to Saudi Arabia, but the measure is not expected to pass despite lawmakers' growing frustration with the longtime US ally.

The Senate's Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said on Tuesday he would "aggressively" oppose the effort.

"I think it's important to the United States to maintain as good a relationship with Saudi Arabia as possible, and I hope we'll defeat the resolution of disapproval of the arms sale," McConnell told reporters, calling Saudi Arabia a good ally.

The Pentagon announced on Aug. 9 that the State Department had approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said General Dynamics Corp would be the principal contractor for the sale.


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