U.S. Considers to Resume Offensive Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia

President Joe Biden’s administration is discussing the possibility of lifting the ban on U.S. Saudi Arabian sales of offensive weapons, but any final decision is expected to depend on Riyadh’s progress toward ending the war with Yemen, report has it.

In several meetings between Riyadh and Washington recently, senior Saudi officials have urged U.S. officials to scrap the policy of selling limited defensive weapons to their largest partner in the Gulf region, three of the people said before Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia this week.

Discussions within the U.S. were informal and at an early stage, and no decision was made immediately, the insider source said, and an American official told Reuters there were “currently” no discussions with Saudi Arabia about offensive weapons. As Biden prepares for a sensitive diplomatic visit, he wants to increase oil supplies in the Gulf region and strengthen Arab-Israeli security ties to deal with Iran, he is seeking to restore tension with Saudi Arabia.

Domestically, any move to repeal the restrictions of offensive weapons is sure to stoke opposition in Congress, including from Democratic members and Republicans who are harshly critical of Saudi Arabia, congressional aides said.

Shortly after taking office early last year, Biden took a tougher stance on Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen, the operation resulted in numerous civilian casualties and worsened Riyadh’s human rights record, notably the killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi and dissidents in 2018.

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Translator: MOS English Team – mingyue
Design&editor: HBamboo(昆仑竹)

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