National News

US Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales

The United States Senate has voted to block the Trump administration from selling arms to Saudi Arabia, launching a new challenge to President Donald Trump's alliance with the country amid rising tensions in the Middle East.

Mr Trump has promised to veto the measures.

The White House said stopping the sales "would send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing".

While all the resolutions of disapproval are likely to pass the House, supporters fell well short of a veto-proof margin.

Two of the resolutions passed with 53 votes, while another group was approved narrowly, with 51 votes.

Overturning a veto requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.

Overall, there were 22 resolutions, one for each of the individual sales. But most of the resolutions were considered as a package to avoid tying up the Senate with lengthy debates over each of them.

The votes came against the backdrop of heightened US tensions with Iran.

Iran shot down a US drone on Thursday, a move Mr Trump declared "a very big mistake".

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