The Biden administration on Wednesday halted US arms sales in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – one of several moves to address Trump-era de facto policies.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who was confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat on Tuesday, told reporters at Wednesday’s press talks about some of the administration’s priorities.
Blinken said the arms sales to both Arab nations, which were announced shortly after Election Day, would be reviewed to determine if they complied with US national security objectives.
Affected by the suspension, there is a $ 23 billion transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates.
Some fear the UAE and Saudi Arabia will use advanced US weapons to advance the Saudi-led war in Yemen, putting more civilian deaths at risk in the country.
Blinken expressed the most serious concern over another foreign policy implemented in the days of the Trump administration, designating Yemen’s Houthi rebels as terrorists.
“We have a very urgent and a very close look at that,” Blinken told reporters.
Critics worry about the terrorist designation, including strict US sanctions, which would further exacerbate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.
According to Blinken, the US-Russia relationship will face extensive review.
And the Biden administration also wants to take a deeper dive into the US-Taliban peace deal signed nearly a year ago.
“We need to understand exactly what’s in the agreement,” Blinken said, before the administration can decide how to proceed.
The deal was signed to try to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by May 2021 after nearly 20 years of war.
Biden’s administration asked that Zalmay Khalilzad, Trump’s special envoy to Afghanistan, remain on board, so he could “continue the important work he’s doing,” Blinken said.
Regarding Iran, Blinken said the administration is ready to ease the sanctions that the Trump administration has re-enforced, as long as the country fully complies with the 2015 nuclear deal.
With post wires