Trump praises USA military sales in talks with Saudi crown prince
25 March, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman kicked off his USA visit with talks and lunch at the White House, where President Donald Trump displayed posters showing recent Saudi weapons purchases from the United States, saying that "we make the best equipment in the world".
During the meeting, a senior administration official said, the two leaders took up an array of thorny issues: Mr. Trump's coming decision on whether to rip up the Iran nuclear deal;Saudi Arabia's bitter dispute with its neighbor, Qatar; and the brutal civil war in Yemen, which has led lawmakers to propose a cutoff in American support for a Saudi-led bombing campaign that has killed thousands, New York Timesreported. King Salman is slated to visit the USA later this year.
The crown prince said on Tuesday the Saudi pledge for $200 billion in investments will end up at $400 billion when fully implemented.
"We are the oldest ally of America from the Middle East", MBS said, "with more than 80 years of alliance and big interests - politically, economically, security". "A lot of bad things are happening in Iran". Neither Mr. Trump nor his guest mentioned Yemen or the humanitarian crisis there to reporters, instead focusing on the huge increase in military hardware that Saudi Arabia is purchasing from the USA, and the boon to the US economy.
In Oval Office talks, Trump and Prince Mohammed discussed an agreement previous year for $200 billion worth of Saudi investments with the United States, including large purchases of military equipment.
During three weeks in the US, the 32-year-old crown prince will also meet with businessmen in NY, tech mavens in San Francisco and entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles. They've cast themselves as essential partners against Islamist extremist groups and, especially since Trump's maiden overseas voyage past year, touted their lavish purchases of high-tech goods from job-creating American companies.
Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia in May on his first overseas trip as president, and boasted that he had come away with billions of dollars in business deals.
In group meetings on Capitol Hill, Mohammed spent more than two hours in 20- to 30-minute sessions with the congressional leaders and heads of national security committees from both sides of the aisle.
"But Iran has not been treating that part of the world or the world itself appropriately", he said.
Now, reports have emerged of a plan to reshape the political map of the Middle East and fracture the Gulf Cooperation Council.
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Mohammed also said the US possibly pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal would be on the table.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is welcomed upon his arrival in Washington, US, March 19, 2018. He's showing reporters a sign that lists Saudi purchases and another of pending sales of military equipment to the kingdom.
Prince Mohammed is starting a three-week trip across the U.S., his first visit since being designated the successor for his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
In MBS, Trump will find a sympathetic ear for his calls to crack down on Iran, Saudi Arabia's archenemy, and strengthen a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran that former President Barack Obama and world powers brokered. Saudi officials recently calling it a "flawed agreement", and Trump has repeatedly stated the deal should be reworked or scrapped all together.
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