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Biden calls for end to US support of Saudi-led war in Yemen

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Former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is calling for an end to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen as part of his first major policy proposals released since launching his campaign.

“Vice President Biden believes it is past time to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen and cancel the blank check the Trump administration has given Saudi Arabia for its conduct of that war,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin. “He urges Congress to override President Trump’s veto.”

The entire Senate Democratic caucus and several Republicans have already passed a resolution spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calling for the U.S. to pull its backing from the military campaign.{mosads}

The Senate, which passed the measure with 54 votes, is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to override President Trump’s veto of the measure.

Efforts to pull back U.S. assistance to the Saudis gained support following the killing of Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey last October. 

Khashoggi’s slaying put a renewed spotlight on what critics of Saudi Arabia say is the country’s history of human rights violations.

“My doubts are that there’s very little sense of rule of law, respect for human rights, dignity,” Biden said of the Saudi government in a recent interview with CBS. “The allegations that are made so far … are not inconsistent with the way the kingdom would act.”

Two of Biden’s competitors for the Democratic Party’s nomination, Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have long criticized the Saudi government and the U.S. relationship with the nation.

Sanders, who has averaged second to Biden in most polls, is seeking to draw distinctions between himself and Biden on foreign policy, noting in a CNN interview Monday that he opposed the war in Iraq while Biden supported it.

A spokesperson for Biden’s campaign declined to comment.

–Updated 3:53 p.m.

Tags 2020 Democratic primary Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Saudi Arabia yemen civil war
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