Trump Praises Visiting Saudi Crown Prince, Focusing on Arms Sales

Mohammad bin Salman arrives in Downing Street London to meet Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia "have a great friendship", President Donald Trump said Tuesday shortly before meeting with the kingdom's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman who seeks additional arms sales and foreign investment. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced a bill in February to withdraw USA armed forces from the Yemen conflict, where they have provided limited intelligence and refueling for warplanes.

He gave CBS's 60 Minutes an interview, which aired on Sunday, doing his best to come off as a progressive leader, and Saudi officials have been doing the rounds with US media to emphasize Saudi Arabia's disdain for Iran, its chief rival in the region.

The Crown Prince said, "We are the oldest ally of America from the Middle East with more than 80 years of alliance and big interests - politically, economically, security".

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to visit France from April 8-10, a French source familiar with details of the arrangements said on Wednesday, as President Emmanuel Macron treads a delicate line in mediating regional relationships.

The crown prince has a lot of leverage too, throwing some cash around before his trip (a $400 million investment in a Hollywood talent and events planning agency) with the promise of more to come. (This would include Raytheon, a US defense contractor, being allowed to sell $7 billion worth of "smart bombs" to Saudi Arabia). "The deal is coming up in one month and we'll see what happens". Bernard Sanders of Vermont, had called for an end to American support, saying only Congress can declare wars to commit military support and Congress has not done so.

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Ahead of meeting Mr Pence, the Saudi Crown Prince hosted a dinner on Tuesday with Mr Trump's Senior advisor and son in law Jared Kushner, the United States envoy to the Middle East, and Jason Greenblatt, assistant to the president and Special Representative for International Negotiations.

"Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation and they are going to give the United States some of that wealth hopefully, in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world", Trump said.

The president ticked off a list of sales or pending sales: "The THAAD [missile defense] system - $13 billion; the C-130 airplanes, the Hercules, great plane - $3.8 billion; the Bradley Vehicles - that's the tanks - $1.2 billion; and the P-8 Poseidons - $1.4 billion". "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". This will help the arms market of United States to grow and creation of new jobs in US.

Burton stated that Saudi Arabia signed the joint strategic vision with US President in May, and it included several agreements worth billions of dollars. I do believe that the opportunities, it's been huge.

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