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Corker Puts Hold on U.S. Arms Sales to GCC Countries

June 27, 2017 (EIRNS)—Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced yesterday that he will put a hold on the currently pending arms sale to the Saudis and their Persian Gulf allies until there is a clear path for settling the diplomatic crisis with Qatar. Corker said that members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in the wake of a summit in Saudi Arabia last month with Trump,

"chose to devolve into conflict" instead of seeking to ease regional tension and expand their security cooperation.

"All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight [the Islamic State] and counter Iran,"

Corker wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson that was released yesterday. Corker told Tillerson that

"before we provide any further clearances during the informal review period on sales of lethal military equipment to the GCC states, we need a better understanding of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify" the alliance.

Corker otherwise backs arms sales to the Saudis and has no qualms about the Saudi genocide in Yemen, as he led the opposition to the S.J.Res 42, the resolution of disapproval that would have blocked the sale of $510 million in munitions to Saudi Arabia in the first place. The resolution was defeated on June 13 on a 47 to 53 vote.