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Paul: $110B Saudi arms deal ‘a travesty’

Paul: $110B Saudi arms deal ‘a travesty’
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks Five things to watch for in deteriorating US-Saudi relations MORE (R-Ky.) says that a $110 billion defense deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia is a “travesty” that must be stopped.

“Selling military weapons to questionable allies is not in our national security interest,” Paul said in a Breitbart News op-ed Wednesday. "At some point, the United States must stop and realize that we are fueling an arms race in the Middle East." 

“In the next few weeks, I, along with a bipartisan group of senators, will force a vote disapproving of this arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Let’s hope the Senate will have the sense to stop this travesty.”

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Paul added that providing arms to Saudi Arabia is particularly troubling due to its ties with fundamentalist Islam.

“Regardless of its origins, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been using their ties with Islamic fundamentalists to further their influence in the Middle East and abroad through charities, schools and social organizations.”

An aide to Paul on Tuesday said that the Kentucky Republican would introduce a measure to disapprove of the sale on Wednesday, forcing a vote on it by next month.

Paul has previously voiced concerns about U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war, a conflict in which Saudi Arabia has also taken an active part.

Trump on Saturday signed a deal with Saudi Arabia aimed at addressing the kingdom’s defenses amid threats from terrorist groups and Iran.

The package is expected to include U.S. missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, Littoral Combat Ships, terminal high altitude area defense missile systems and munitions.

Trump was visiting Saudi Arabia as part of his first foreign trip as president, which also includes stops in Israel and the Vatican.