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Institute Calls on Congress to Block Arms Sale to Saudi

"Such military support would embolden a nation that exemplifies the worst qualities of tyranny and violation of fundamental rights"

Contact: Kevin Fahey, Institute on Religion and Public Policy, 202-835-8760


WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- Institute on Religion and Public Policy Founder and President Joseph K. Grieboski today sent a letter to all 100 members of the United States Senate and all 435 members of the US House of Representatives calling on the members to prevent approval of the proposed $20 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia and, "in so doing, realizing the appropriate U.S. foreign policy goals of defending fundamental rights everywhere."

Just hours after President Bush’s arrival in Riyadh, the Administration said it notified Congress of its intention to offer the Saudis a controversial package of advanced weaponry as part of a multibillion-dollar deal with Gulf Arab allies. The announcement begins a 30-day review period in which congress could try to block the deal, which includes satellite-guided weaponry and high-tech munitions.

"The President's proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia is a flagrant violation of the President's policies outlined in his Second Inaugural Address, as such military support would embolden a nation that exemplifies the worst qualities of tyranny and violation of fundamental rights.  According to our State Department, Saudi Arabia is a country with innumerable violations of human rights," the letter stated.

The letter went on to highlight the innumerable human rights violations committed just in the last year by the Saudi regime.

In conclusion, Mr. Grieboski stated to the House and Senate members, "It is hard to imagine a country that could be more oppressive towards it people than Saudi Arabia is today. President Bush's 20 billion dollar arm sale not only ignores those 'who live in tyranny and hopelessness' but actually arms and strengthens their oppressors.  It is with these human rights violations in mind that we request that you remember the words the President has forgotten. Vote no on authorizing the 20 billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia for America's fight against tyranny and extremism, the cause of human rights worldwide and, most importantly, the oppressed peoples of Saudi Arabia 'yearning to breathe free.'  Freedom, hope and justice depend on your action."

The full text of the letter can be found at www.religionandpolicy.org or on The Grieboski Report at http://grieboskireport.blogspot.com.