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As Biden Prepares to Meet MBS, U.S. Considers Lifting Ban on “Offensive” Weapons to Saudi Arabia

HeadlineJul 12, 2022

President Biden departs for Jerusalem this evening, the first stop on his four-day trip to the Middle East. After meeting with Israeli leaders, Biden is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, before heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over its human rights violations and the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. This week Reuters reported the Biden administration is discussing the possible lifting of its ban on U.S. sales of so-called offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia, including Lockheed Martin F-35 jets. Biden put the ban in place early last year citing the Saudi-led coalition’s disastrous war on Yemen, which has killed more than 100,000 people since 2015. 

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