(Bloomberg) -- A top Senate Democrat is reviewing limits put on US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, signaling warmer ties as the Biden administration pursues a security agreement with the kingdom and seeks to ease the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had directed his staff to review all holds on arms sales to the Saudis. He said in some cases President Joe Biden’s team has asked for the reviews and other cases the work is being done independently.

“We’re trying to clean up a lot of that,” Cardin told reporters Thursday at the Capitol. “Some of these are no longer relevant sales, so we can try to work with the administration to see if they’re still interested in these sales. But some of them I would like to see us work out with the administration any concerns so that we can release any objections that we have.”

Earlier: US and Saudis Near Defense Pact Meant to Reshape Middle East

Cardin’s comments reflect a change in attitude on the committee since the previous chairman, Senator Bob Menendez, gave up his leadership as he fights bribery allegations in New York. Menendez announced in 2022 he would block arms sales to Saudi Arabia over a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut oil production.

Congress has other holds on weapons sales, and the president still hasn’t fully lifted restrictions on sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia announced early in his administration. Biden came to office pledging that he’d treat Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a pariah for his part in the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Yet the administration’s priorities have also shifted since then. Before the Israel-Hamas war broke out last Oct. 7, the US was seeking a three-way deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel to offer the kingdom closer security ties in exchange for diplomatic recognition of Israel. Those conversations, paused for months amid the fighting, have quietly resumed.

Cardin said that the panel was also reviewing other arms sales, but declined to comment on specific weapons systems or holds, saying only that clearing the backlog was a “committee responsibility.”

Commenting on the Group of Seven plan to use frozen Russian assets to help fund Ukraine’s efforts to repel President Vladimir Putin’s forces, Cardin said that while the announcement of the arrangement was a welcome development, he would still like to see to see the US and its allies do more, including potentially seizing the underlying assets.

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