RIYADH – United States has agreed to arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth almost $110bn on Saturday, the first day of President Donald Trump’s visit to the traditional US ally, with options for as much as $350bn over 10 years.
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“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.
It will also bolster the kingdom´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.
Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “will attend a signing ceremony” for the deals, the official said.
The 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.”
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for his first overseas visit since holding the office.
Getting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be strongly protecting American interests – that's what I like to do!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2017
During his stay, he will attend the US- Arab, Islamic summit, at the invitation of King Suleman bin Abdul Aziz, besides holding meetings with the heads of several states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
This Riyadh conference will put focus on new alliances to eliminate extremist groups. And the Saudis’ overriding goal is to convince the US and others to put far greater pressure on Iran.
We welcome @POTUS Trump to KSA. Mr. President, your visit will strengthen our strategic cooperation, lead to global security and stability.
— سلمان بن عبدالعزيز (@KingSalman) May 20, 2017
During his eight-day long trip, he will land in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Brussels, the Vatican, and Sicily.
Trump is expected to give a speech on Islam and the need to tackle “radical ideology” on Sunday.