December 10, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement after voting in support of resolutions to disapprove of the sale of arms to the United Arab Emirates, citing a rushed process and incomplete consultation with Congress:
“The United Arab Emirates is one of America’s most important and longstanding security partners in the Middle East, providing support to US military operations and a vital counterweight to threats in the region -- and we have a vested interest in ensuring the UAE has the tools it needs to defend itself and our shared interests against malign actors. In addition, the nation’s recent agreement to normalize relations with Israel through the Abraham Accords is an important step to cool tensions in the Middle East, and should be supported.
“While this arms deal may well support our interests in the region, a sale of this size requires a more deliberate approach, and far more consultation with the legislative branch. This rushed and opaque process left too many unanswered questions, and is being finalized without full congressional understanding of important commitments between the US Government and the UAE on issues ranging from accountability measures governing weapons usage to the range of steps the UAE will take to adequately protect sensitive American technology. For these reasons, I voted in support of today’s resolutions disapproving these sales. I will continue to assert Congress’s role in arms sales in conversations with the incoming Biden Administration, and I am hopeful that the new Administration will be more engaged with the Senate and our Constitutionally-prescribed role in matters of national security.”