Biden administration pauses arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE amid wider review

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 |  By Rebecca Kheel | The Hill

The Biden administration is reviewing controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorised by former President Donald Trump.

The State Department confirmed a pause in “some” pending arms transfers, framing the move as a routine practice for a new administration. The Biden administration’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, when asked at a media briefing on Wednesday, similarly framed the move as routine.

“Generally speaking, when it comes to arms sales, it is typical at the start of an administration to review any pending sales to make sure that what is being considered is something that advances our strategic objectives and advances our foreign policy, so that’s what we’re doing at this moment,” he said.

The temporary pause on arms sales includes the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, and F-35 fighters and armed drones to the UAE.

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