Saudi Arabia, US Sign Historic $110 Billion Defense Deal

Photo: SPA22.05.2017 KSA
Saudi Arabia, US Sign Historic $110 Billion Defense Deal

Saudi Arabia, US Sign Historic $110 Billion Defense Deal

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US President Donald Trump signed a multi-billion-dollar arms and economic deal with Saudi Arabia Saturday in a move intended to strengthen the U.S.-Saudi Arabian alliance against ISIS on the President’s first foreign trip.

The agreement is worth $110 billion effective immediately and $350 billion over 10 years, in an effort to equip Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf partners in the fight against ISIS.

The agreement will provide fighter jets, tanks, combat ships and anti-missile defense systems and create defense-sector jobs in the U.S., according to the White House.

The deal includes additional private-sector agreements and a joint vision statement with Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers.

“This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats, while also bolstering the Kingdom's ability to contribute to counter terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations,” the White House said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia is the primary destination for US arms sales, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, with the Kingdom purchasing nearly 10% of US exports from 2011 to 2015.

President Trump arrived in Riyadh on Saturday morning on a two-day official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during which he held a summit meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and participated in Gulf-American Summit and Arab-Islamic-American Summit..

The US President was received by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques at King Khalid International Airport, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The US President was also received by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh region and Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador-designate to the United States of America.

The US President was accompanied by US First Lady Melania Trump; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross; Assistant to President and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus; Assistant to President and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner; US First Daughter and Advisor to President, Ivanka Trump; Assistant to President and White House Chief Strategist and Advisor Stephen Bannon; Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Christopher Henzel and a number of officials.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, received on Friday Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey, Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and means to promote them, especially, in the domain related to security and defense, in addition to other issues of mutual interest.

The meeting was attended by the Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and other senior civil and military officials.

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