Washington is contemplating lifting its ban on US sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Riyadh later this week, Reuters reported on Monday, citing four sources familiar with the discussions.
Strictly internal at this time and at an early stage, the deliberations are informal and far from the decision-making stage, two of the sources indicated, with another US official stating no talks on the matter have so far been held with the Saudis. The sources expect the Biden administration’s decision will depend on whether Riyadh manages to get any closer towards ending its years-long war in Yemen in a political settlement, according to the report.
Additionally, the White House is approaching the matter with utmost caution, since the Saudi-led coalition is reported to have used US-made weapons against civilian targets, the sources said. Back in January, Amnesty International reported that the coalition used American precision-guided munitions in an airstrike on a detention center in Yemen, killing dozens of people.