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 Riyadh and Washington sign contracts worth $ 380 billion

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Posts : 12189
Join date : 2015-02-19

PostSubject: Riyadh and Washington sign contracts worth $ 380 billion   Sat May 20, 2017 9:43 pm

Riyadh and Washington sign contracts worth $ 380 billion


(Independent) On his first visit abroad, US President Donald Trump received a massive reception in Saudi Arabia on Saturday (May 20th) and won contracts worth more than $ 380 billion, including 110 arms contracts aimed at countering "Iranian threats" .

Trump was greeted warmly after a week of tension and pressure on his administration following further revelations in the investigation into his team's ties with Russia and the consequences of his dismissal of the FBI director.

Trump held a summit with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in the presence of senior officials of the two countries, and held bilateral meetings with Saudi officials.

Trump described the first day of the visit as "a wonderful day," adding: "Hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs."

The official Saudi Press Agency reported signing 34 contracts in several fields including defense, oil and air transport.

"The total value of the agreements is more than $ 380 billion," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a joint news conference in Riyadh with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson.

"We expect these investments over the next 10 years to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States and Saudi Arabia," he added.

Al-Jubeir described Trump's visit as "historic."

A White House official said the deal was signed on Saudi arms contracts including US equipment and maintenance services worth $ 110 billion.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer described the arms deal as "the biggest in the history of the United States."

Tillerson said the deal "supports the security of the kingdom and the Gulf ... in the face of Iran's bad influence and Iranian threats along the Saudi border."

Meanwhile, a White House official said the aim of the arms contracts was "to strengthen the kingdom's ability to contribute to counterterrorism operations in the region, thereby reducing the weight of US forces in carrying out these operations."

Saudi Arabia, one of the world's biggest security and defense spending, announced this week the establishment of a new military industry company, hoping it would become one of the world's largest military companies in years.

Trump's generosity in Saudi Arabia, from the plane's doorstep to his residence and then to the Royal Palace of Yamamah, contrasts with the parliamentary reception of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, who visited Saudi Arabia in April 2016. Relations between his administration and the kingdom have soured over the nuclear deal signed with Iran.

"Determination brings us together"

The US Air Force One plane landed at King Khalid Airport at 0950 local time (0650 GMT). Trump landed the plane with his wife Melania.

He was greeted at the door of the plane by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who accompanied him along with Melania and a number of Saudi officials on the red carpet.

Trump also accompanied his eldest daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kouchner.

The Riyadh authorities have flooded the streets with long rows of Saudi and American flags, huge paintings that have gathered the images of Saudi King Salman and Trump, along with the theme of the visit: "Determination brings us together."

Trump is expected to attend a summit with Gulf leaders at a summit called by King Salman about 50 leaders from Arab and Muslim countries, during which the US president will deliver a speech on Islam.

The US president has for some time been sidestepped by the political earthquake he wreaked in Washington with the dismissal of the head of the FBI and the tremors that continue to unfold, notably the investigation of links between members of his team and Russia.

Trump moves after Saudi Arabia to Israel and the Palestinian territories, then to the Vatican.

His tour will also take him to Brussels and Sicily, where he will take part respectively in the NATO and G7 summits.

In addition to his political and diplomatic positions, the emotional behavior of the 70-year-old president on his first trip abroad will be scrutinized, as every word he utters, every move he makes and every gimmick he publishes will be a matter of great anticipation.

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