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Institute Denounces Planned US Arms Sales Package to Saudi Arabia

Contact: Kevin Fahey, 202-835-8760


WASHINGTON, July 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Institute on Religion and Public Policy opposes an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia that is expected to total $20 billion over the next decade.


"Saudi Arabia has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not interested in a relationship with the United States based on mutual values and concerns," stated Joseph K. Grieboski, President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. "Instead, the Saudi regime uses its immense resources to export terrorism, religious extremism, intolerance, and instability."


The proposed package of advanced weaponry for Saudi Arabia includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels. Despite the size of the package, the Bush administration has not sought specific assurances from Saudi Arabia that it would be more supportive of American efforts in Iraq, or that it would follow through with other formal and informal agreements with the United States, including improvement of its text books, reform of madrassas, or improve treatment of the millions of Christians and other religious minorities living in Saudi as conditions of receiving the arms package.


"The United States cannot and must not ignore the atrocious record of human rights abuses, exportation of violence and intolerance," Mr. Grieboski continued. "Threats that the Saudi will search elsewhere for such equipment cannot serve as the basis for a policy that improves the military capacity of a state which flouts internationally-recognized fundamental rights, defies bilateral agreements on religious freedom, and continues to educate its children that discrimination and fanaticism are acceptable."