Tuesday, April 23, 2019
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

US and Saudi Arabia sign arms deals worth almost $110bn

White House official says the deals support long-term security of Saudis and Gulf region in the face of Iran threats.

Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman

The US and Saudi Arabia have signed arms deals worth almost $110bn, a White House official said on Saturday, the first day of President Donald Trump's visit to the traditional US ally.

"This package of defence equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats," the official said on Saturday.

It will also bolster the Saudi Arabia's "ability to contribute to counter-terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the US military to conduct those operations," the official added.

The White House official described the agreements as "a significant expansion of the over seven-decade-long security relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

The deal came at the start of Trump's eight-day foreign tour that will also take him to Jerusalem, the Vatican and meetings with leaders in Europe.

The president and first lady Melania Trump were welcomed by Saudi King Salman as they disembarked at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Saturday morning.

After a welcoming coffee ceremony, Trump and his entourage were brought to the royal court where the president was awarded the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honour.

The arms sale agreement was just one of a series of deals to be announced during the visit, with US conglomerate General Electric saying it had also signed agreements and memorandums of understanding worth $15bn.

Trump held talks with King Salman and was to meet the kingdom's two crown princes on Saturday, before giving a speech on Islam to leaders of Muslim countries on Sunday.

For Riyadh the visit is an opportunity to rebuild ties with a key ally, strained under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama who Sunni Arab Gulf states suspected of a tilt towards their Shiite regional rival Iran.

Trump's speech on Sunday to dozens of Muslim leaders has been touted as a major event - along the lines of a landmark address to the Islamic world given by Obama in Cairo in 2009.

The speech will be especially sensitive given tensions sparked by the Trump administration's attempted travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority nations and accusations of anti-Islamic rhetoric on the campaign trail.

The next leg of Trump's trip will be Israel. After meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Trump will see Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, part of his efforts to revive the long-stagnant peace process.

On Tuesday Trump heads to Rome to meet with Pope Francis. The two men are at odds on everything from climate change to refugee policy, although the pontiff says he will give the US leader an open-minded hearing.

The president will then meets NATO members in Brussels and attend a G7 summit in the Sicilian town of Taormina.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Israeli air raids kill five Palesti...

Read More

Fierce fighting 'eases' in Hodeidah...

Read More

Saudis discussed killing enemies a ...

Read More

Khashoggi killing: Demand for justi...

Read More

Israel kills seven Palestinians in ...

Read More

UK calls for end to Yemen war, Khas...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid