Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organizations have signed a joint letter to prevent the current U.S. President Trump administration from selling more than $23 billion (about 151.4 billion yuan) worth of drones and other weapons to the United Arab Emirates.
According to Reuters on the 29th, a propaganda official of a human rights organization said in an interview, “We hope that the arms sales plan can be completely stopped. If it’s not possible in the short term, we’ll also send an important signal to President-elect Biden that there are many different organizations that are opposing the delivery of these weapons.”
The letter, to be sent to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of State, wrote, “The sale of arms to the UAE will exacerbate the continuing harm to the local civilian population and further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.” It is reported that the 29 arms control and human rights organizations that signed the joint letter also include local human rights organizations in the Middle East, such as Mwatana Human Rights and Cairo Human Rights Organization.
According to previous reports, three U.S. senators also said in November that they would propose four resolutions against the Trump administration’s sale of tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons to the United Arab Emirates, including F-35 fighters and MQ-9B drones. In a joint statement issued by the senators, “While the UAE is an important security partner, the UAE has not complied with international law and violated the agreement prohibiting the sale of arms in Libya and Yemen.” They also said that there should be no agreement of this scale during the transfer of power, and that Congress should take measures to stop such acts.
According to Xinhua News Agency’s previous reports, the agreement on the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel brokered by the United States contains provisions for the sale of F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates. Israel initially publicly opposed the arms sale, but Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said on October 24 that the United States has promised to continue to ensure Israel’s military superiority in the Middle East, and Israel has agreed to the arms sales plan.
The final completion of the arms sales plan still needs the approval of the U.S. Congress. If the arms sales are completed, the United Arab Emirates will become the second country in the Middle East to be equipped with F-35 fighters after Israel.