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Edwards Campaign Press Release - Edwards Calls On Congress To Block The Saudi Arabia Arms Deal

July 31, 2007

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Today, Senator John Edwards called on Congress to block a proposed $20 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia because it lacks conditions that would force Saudi Arabia to do more to help our strategy to shut down terrorism and achieve regional security and stability. Edwards believes the proposed deal with Saudi Arabia could have negative consequences for the future of the region. The deal could trigger a regional arms race, even inciting Iran to accelerate their nuclear agenda.

"Congress needs to stand firm against the president," said Edwards. "The administration's proposed arms deal with Saudi Arabia isn't in the long-term interests of our country or the region. This deal has serious shortcomings—it doesn't force Saudi Arabia to stop terrorists from going into Iraq, make a real effort to help stabilize Iraq, lead regional security talks or assure the arms will not be used for offensive purposes. Congress should do the right thing and block the deal."

The proposed deal would give Saudi Arabia advanced weaponry, missile guidance systems, upgraded fighter jets and naval ships and satellite-guided aerial bombs. While Edwards has been urging the administration to reengage with countries in the area, he believes it is going about it the wrong way. Edwards believes the deal is a missed opportunity to get Saudi Arabia to do more to help with security in the region.

The proposed deal is a symptom of a larger problem. Edwards believes we need to move away from a foreign policy of convenience, which currently focuses only on today and tomorrow, not the next year or next generation. The foreign policy debate in our country should be about more than just whether we employ diplomacy and the State Department before meetings with hostile leaders. Edwards believes the debate should focus on how our foreign policy should deal with the big issues like terrorism, stability, and how we make America safer.

Earlier this year, Edwards laid out a mission-focused plan to shut down terrorists and stand up for American values. With terrorism around the world on the rise, Edwards believes we need a change from the Bush "Global War on Terror Doctrine," which hasn't worked and has only been used to justify the worst abuses of his administration. In order to fight terrorism, Edwards will strengthen our military force structure and recognize what our military commanders have made clear — military action is only one of the tools we have to stop terrorism; we have to supplant the lure of violent extremism with the hope of education, opportunity, and prosperity. We also have to work with partners like Saudi Arabia to shut down terrorists both inside their borders and in the region.

To read more about Edwards' plan to fight terrorism, please visit:

John Edwards, Edwards Campaign Press Release - Edwards Calls On Congress To Block The Saudi Arabia Arms Deal Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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