US finalising $100b arms deals with KSA

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 13 May 2017, 16:22:29
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US finalising $100b arms deals with KSA

The United States is finalising a series of arms deals for Saudi Arabia totaling more than US $100 billion.

A senior White House official said this on Friday, a week ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned visit to Riyadh.

The arms package could end up surpassing more than $300 billion over a decade to help Saudi Arabia boost its defensive capabilities while still maintaining US ally Israel's qualitative military edge over its neighbours, said the official on condition of anonymity, reports Reuters.

“We are in the final stages of a series of deals,” the official said. The package is being developed to coincide with Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

Trump will leave for the kingdom on May 19, the first stop on his maiden international trip.

The official added, “It’s good for the American economy but it will also be good in terms of building a capability that is appropriate for the challenges of the region. Israel would still maintain an edge.”

The official said Trump would attend three major events: A series of meeting with Saudi officials, a separate session with leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and a lunch with Arab and Muslim leaders, 56 of whom have been invited, to discuss combating extremism and cracking down on illicit financing.

Trump will discuss how to counter the threat from Islamic State militants, the war in Yemen and threats of ballistic missiles and maritime shipping in the Red Sea, the official said.
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