By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - Three US senators said they would introduce legislation to block President Donald Trump's $23 billion worth arms sale effort to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut, said Wednesday in a joint statement they will introduce four separate Joint Resolutions of Disapproval to reject Trump’s effort.
"The Trump administration circumvented the informal congressional review process that grants the Congressional committees of jurisdiction time to ensure proposed arms sales of this magnitude are consistent with US values, national security objectives, and the safety of our allies," the statement said.
Menendez, who is also a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Congress should assert its authority over the US' foreign arms sales.
"As I tried to warn the Trump administration, circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible," he added.
Sen. Murphy said he supported the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, but warned that Trump's arms sale may flood the Middle East with more weapons and cause an arms race in the region.
Reminding that the UAE had violated arms sales agreements in the past, Murphy said the weapons it may purchase could be used in violation of the US and international law.
The Trump administration formally notified lawmakers on Nov. 10 of its intent to sell more than $23 billion in arms to the UAE, which include the F-35 stealth fighter jets, Reaper drones, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and other munitions.
Abu Dhabi fully normalized relations with Israel as part of Trump's push to have Arab states open diplomatic ties with the country. Despite warm relations with the UAE, Israeli lobbies have expressed discomfort with advanced arms sale to the tiny Arab country.