Menendez demands investigation into alleged UAE arms transfers

Menendez demands investigation into alleged UAE arms transfers
© Greg Nash
 
Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked in a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoImpeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill Five takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony Pompeo: No US response ruled out in Hong Kong MORE for the department to open a probe after The New York Times reported that U.S. arms, which initially appeared to have been sold to the UAE, were found in a Libyan rebel compound. 
 
"If the United Arab Emirates has indeed transferred these weapons, this would appear to be a serious violation of United States law. Such a transfer would also almost certainly be a violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya," Menendez wrote to Pompeo. 
 
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Menendez added that "if these allegations prove true you may be obligated by law to terminate all arms sales to the UAE."
 
State Department and Defense Department officials told the Times that they had opened an investigation into how the weapons ended up in Libya. 
 
Menendez is asking Pompeo to provide details on how arms sold to the UAE are monitored after the sale, what steps the administration has taken to make sure the UAE "doesn’t unlawfully divert additional weapons" and why the administration still supports selling weapons to the UAE. 
 
Menendez's letter comes after the Senate voted late last month to block an arms deal that included the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The 22 resolutions still need to pass the House, but President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE is expected to veto the effort. The Trump administration used an emergency provision of the Arms Export Control Act to bypass the 30-day requirement to notify Congress before a sale. 
 
Menendez added that he would be following up with the State Department inspector general to investigate the arms sale, the broader decision to keep selling arms to the UAE, and "what you and your Department knew about UAE’s illicit transfers when considering and approving such sales."