WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after his votes to support two Senate resolutions disapproving of arms sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Today, after much deliberation, I voted to support resolutions disapproving of the sales of F-35 fighter jets and armed drones to the United Arab Emirates.  Congress must preserve its role in reviewing arms sales.  In this case, there has not been a thorough review process and the Trump Administration has not provided adequate consultations and answers to Senators’ questions.  In a recent classified briefing, the Administration failed to address a number of my concerns.  In particular, I am concerned about the UAE’s ability to safeguard sensitive American technology and their role in the conflicts in Libya and Yemen. 

“I am grateful for the UAE’s bold leadership in normalizing relations with Israel, avoiding annexation of the West Bank, and paving the way for a broader and more stable peace in the region.  I also appreciate the Emirati military’s role in standing up to Iran’s malign activities and their deployments alongside U.S. service members in Afghanistan and against terrorist groups around the region.  Even so, in the absence of a thorough review process and without assurances that the use of these weapons will be consistent with U.S. interests and values, I cannot support the sales at this time.”