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Trump asks to share Saudi Arabia's wealth through weapons deals

25 Марта 2018

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman opened a marathon tour of the U.S. Tuesday by soaking in praise from President Donald Trump, who championed close economic ties and increased military sales to the Saudis as he hosted the young heir to the throne in the Oval Office.

Although the U.S. has welcomed MBS's determination to purge pervasive corruption in Saudi Arabia, including by royals, the Trump administration hasn't endorsed his tactics.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday implored Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince to share his nation's wealth by continuing to purchase American-made weapons.

Trump gave a warm welcome at White House to the powerful Crown Prince and credited USA defence sales to the Saudis boosting American jobs. Although his claims could not be verified.

The talks were part of the first visit by the prince to the United States since he became the heir apparent a year ago to King Salman. The importance of this relationship was emphasised by Mr Trump during his White House meeting with the Crown Prince, where the president produced a placard illustrating the current level of United States military sales to the Kingdom, which now stands at around $12.5 billion, a figure that could rise substantially in future years.

TRT World's Tetiana Anderson reports. "A bipartisan group of senators attempted to force a vote on a bill that would curb American support to Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, as well as asserting more broad congressional oversight of American's wars".

The U.S. has raised concerns previously about heavy civilian casualties and indiscriminate bombing by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Prince Mohammed is on a mission during his three-week US visit to improve the perception of his nation in the eyes of Americans, who have viewed Saudi Arabia warily because of its conservative social mores, unequal treatment of women and, more recently, deadly military campaign in Yemen.

Mohammed, in response, described the bilateral relationship as "really huge and really deep".

On May 20th, 2017, Trump signed a US$350-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

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President Trump further tried to express his personal fondness to the Crown Prince saying, "I thought your father made a very wise decision".

"The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of sharia (Islamic law): that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men", he said in an interview on CBS television.

China also reached an agreement with the United States on investment in U.S. infrastructure last November.

"In a region torn by regional interventions, the Arabs' political weight is returning with a strength through the Crown Prince's presence and Saudi Arabia's position", he said. He said a 10-year window for implementing the deal was under way.

"This is a signal that there (are) a lot of things (that) could be tackled in the near future and more opportunities". The bill that failed on Tuesday invoked the resolution and called for the immediate withdrawal of all US forces in the country not fighting al Qaeda.

The crown prince had met with President Trump earlier in the day, where he said that the relations between the two countries are historic and deeply rooted.

He is on a public relations blitz while traveling in the U.S., with stops in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. The US and Saudi Arabia are developing an increasingly close partnership, encompassing everything from isolating Iran to bolstering business ties beyond energy into technology, defense and entertainment, according to top US and Saudi officials.

"Certainly the crown prince is coming in to pay up at least in part his commitments to the United States in terms of commercial deals and buying arms", he added.

"Iran has not been treating that part of the world or the world itself appropriately", Mr. Trump told reporters.

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Trump asks to share Saudi Arabia's wealth through weapons deals