Biden approves multibillion-dollar weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, UAE
US President Joe Biden approves the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the same day the UN hails the extension of the truce between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
A possible multibillion-dollar weapons sale has been approved by the Biden administration on Tuesday for both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On the same day the Biden administration approved the sale, the UN announced the extension of the truce between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
According to a news release, the US State Department approved a possible sale to Riyadh estimated at $3.05 billion, of PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic Missiles (GEM-T) and related equipment.
The State Department said that "This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a partner country that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Gulf region," adding that "The proposed sale will improve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's capability to meet current and future threats by replenishing its dwindling stock of PATRIOT GEM-T missiles. These missiles are used to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's borders against persistent Houthi [Ansar Allah] cross-border unmanned aerial system and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia."
The US State Department also argued that the Saudi army will have no problem integrating the weapons into their ranks and putting them in service. Additionally, this is important to the US, according to the statement, since the State Department claims that 70,000 US citizens are threatened in Jeddah and the rest of Saudi Arabia as retaliations from Ansar Allah following attacks from the Saudi-led coalition reach Saudi depth.
Distinctly, the State Department also approved the possible sale of "Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System Missiles, THAAD Fire Control and Communication Stations, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.245 billion" to the UAE.
According to the State Department "This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner. The UAE is a vital US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," adding that "The proposed sale will improve the UAE's ability to meet current and future ballistic missile threats in the region, and reduce dependence on US forces."
Only a few weeks have passed since Biden met with the heads of state of the two countries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in an effort to overcome the diplomatic spat that was ignited by the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and normalize ties between the US and the Saudis.
Shortly after assuming office, Biden declared that the US will stop supporting Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, "including relevant arms sales." In spite of that, the government has been selling Riyadh artillery for what it claims are defense reasons.
In February of this year, the White House, in a statement, stated that Biden "underscored the US commitment to support Saudi Arabia in the defense of its people and territory."
It is noteworthy that in late January, the US military confirmed that it helped shoot down two Yemeni missiles targeting a UAE airbase hosting American troops.
The operation was in response to the Saudi-led coalition committing several massacres in Yemen, including one in Sanaa, another in Saada, and a third in Al-Hudaydah.