09:34 GMT28 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The incoming Biden administration, after taking power on January 20, must cancel outgoing President Donald Trump's arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to Democratic House Representative Ilhan Omar at a virtual forum hosted by the Stimson Center.

    Earlier this year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to bypass congressional approval on the $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In November 2020, the US State Department in the wake of the Abraham Accords approved a $23 billion weapons sale to the UAE. The administration of US President Barack Obama, whom Joe Biden served as vice president, offered the Saudis over $100 billion in arms sales.

    "The Biden administration still has a chance to cancel those sales [of arms to Saudi Arabia] and I think they should," Omar said on Tuesday. "Senate Democrats have to continue to push for that as well."

    US policymakers had divorced issues of supporting allies maintaining human rights values and as a result had increasingly isolated their own country in the world, Omar said.

    "We have a responsibility to respond to terrorism, but we often do so in a highly militarized way without regard for human rights and this approach has not made us safer," she told the conference.

    Omar said the incoming Biden administration should set red lines on arms sales and that Congress should insist on an active oversight role on all arms sales to foreign nations while inserting itself into foreign policy decision-making on such issues.


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