Trump asks Saudi prince to buy more United States arms

21 March, 2018, 08:14 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to meet top global executives including the heads of Apple and Google during his trip to the US. Tolga Akmen  AFP

Washington, D.C, March 20 (BNA): Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that the visit of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, to the United States will focus on discussing many files, including Iran, Yemen and Syria, in addition to Iraq, Libya and the fight against terrorism.

Trump boasted about the USA $700 billion military budget and said Saudi Arabia is "footing a big part of the bill for defense, the whole middle east, and we know what's happened in the Middle East and it has not been a pretty picture for the United States".

Trump said Saudi Arabia has been a great friend to the United States and is a "great purchaser" and "investor" in its economy.

In an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post on the eve of Crown Prince Muhammad's visit, Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Khalid Bin Salman wrote that "the Crown Prince is not just here to talk politics; he is also here to talk business, specifically the bilateral investment opportunities made possible by his diversification strategy".

Trump held up charts to show the depth of Saudi purchases of US military hardware, ranging from ships to missile defense to planes and fighting vehicles.

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Consequently, the focus of escalating tensions and of the Saudi crown prince's visit to Washington appears to be on assigning blame to the opposing side for the ongoing crises in the region.

One focus of Prince Mohammed's meeting with Trump will be expanding cooperation to counter Iran's influence in the Middle East, including the Islamic Republic's alliance with Russian Federation, according to White House officials who briefed reporters before the crown prince's arrival. Still, Trump's administration doesn't want Congress to cut assistance for Saudi-led operations there, warning that without USA help, civilian deaths would only increase.

Mohammed spoke to CBS' Norah O'Donnell about Saudi Arabia before 1979 when Saudi women worked, drove cars and enjoyed freedoms.

Another point of friction is the war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia leads a coalition fighting the Huthi rebels, who are allegedly backed by Iran.

Saudi Arabia was the president's first overseas trip.

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Even still, Kushner is expected to play a key role when MBS, a leader the United States has tried to woo for much of Trump's first 14 months in office, comes to the White House on Tuesday for a meeting with the President.

"The president's meeting with the crown prince tomorrow, there is a tremendous opportunity to make progress on a range of issues and strengthened these bilateral relations", the official said.

In other words, recycle the petrodollars that Saudi Arabia earns every day through the export of oil. Trump will emphasize the importance of a strong and unified Gulf Cooperation Council, whose members include both Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Saudi concerns with NY include a post-9/11 law that could jeopardize assets in the United States if victims' families claim Saudi Arabia helped the al-Qaida attackers and sue for compensation.

"But Iran has not been treating that part of the world or the world itself appropriately", he said. Stock exchanges in NY and elsewhere are vying for the global listing of Aramco, the Saudi oil behemoth expected to go public soon.

"Tell that to the people of Yemen, whose homes and lives are being destroyed by weapons marked 'Made in the United States of America, ' dropped by planes being refuelled by the U.S. military, on targets chosen with US assistance", Sanders said Tuesday.

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