U.S. Senate clears way for $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate cleared the way for a $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, defending a frequent partner in the Middle East recently subject to harsh criticism in Congress. The Senate voted 71 to 27 to kill legislation that would have stopped the sale. The overwhelming vote stopped an effort led by Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to block the deal over concerns including Saudi Arabia’s role in the 18-month-long war in Yemen and worries that it might fuel an ongoing regional arms race.

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