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Congressmen bid to block Saudi arms deal

Two U.S. congressmen say they will try to block the proposed $20 billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

Reps. Anthony Weiner and Jerrold Nadler, Jewish Democrats from New York, announced Sunday that they would try to block the deal, which was expected to be announced Monday ahead of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Middle East trip. The planned sale, which includes advanced weaponry, is designed to strengthen the U.S. relationship with a perceived moderate Arab regime in light of threats from Islamic extremists and the growing influence of Islamic regimes in the region such as Iran.

Weiner said the arms sale sends the wrong message.

“We need to send a crystal-clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that their tacit approval of terrorism can’t go unpunished,” he said at  a news conference Sunday. “Saudi Arabia should not get an ounce of military support from the U.S. until they unequivocally denounce terrorism and take tangible steps to prevent it.”

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