Tags: Middle East | Rand Paul | rand paul | saudi arabia | frenemy | arms

Rand Paul: Block Sales of Arms to 'Frenemy' Saudi Arabia

("Morning Joe"/MSNBC)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016 04:14 PM

Saudi Arabia is a "frenemy" of the United States, and we should not be selling the Middle Eastern country arms, Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday.

"I think [New York Times columnist] Thomas Friedman put it well about a year ago when he said they're both arsonists and firefighters," the Kentucky Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program while discussing a resolution proposed to block a planned $1.15 billion arms sale. "I would call them a frenemy. I would say sometimes they're our ally, sometimes they're our enemy."

Saudi Arabia has supplied rebel groups in Syria with weapons that ended up in the hands of Sunni terrorist groups, including the Islamic State, said Paul.

"I don't have a great deal of respect for where Saudi Arabia is," he told the program.

"They've been funding radical Islam, both in our country and theirs. They say they want to change their ways, let's see them do it."

The resolution is co-sponsored by Paul and Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Al Franken, D-Minn.; and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and if passed will block the sales of 130 tanks, 20 armored vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia in a series of sales.

He also called passing the resolution our "constitutional duty" as, by blocking the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, it allows a "great opportunity" to discuss if the United States should be assisting Saudi Arabia in its fight against Yemen.

"Some of the arms being given or sold on Saudi Arabia are replacing tanks we lost in the war, and the other thing people don't realize, under President [Barack] Obama's watch we sold $100 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, and everywhere you look in the Middle East you see U.S. arms often fighting against other entities using U.S. arms," said Paul.

"Anybody who believes Yemen is our war is welcome to volunteer to fight" against that country, said Paul.

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Saudi Arabia is a "frenemy" of the United States, and we should not be selling the Middle Eastern country arms, Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday.
rand paul, saudi arabia, frenemy, arms
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2016-14-20
Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016 04:14 PM
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