Saudi Arabia has long been one of America’s closest and most problematic allies. It is a critical partner in dealing with terrorists and violent extremist movements, and in securing the flow of oil and gas to the global economy.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state, a Kingdom, and a nation whose culture has many different values. As a result, every American president has had to learn how to deal with a truly different ally that is also a vital strategic interest.
US President’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia came up with a lot of surprises, the whole world was eyeing for what US president is up to, also as this was his first international visit after assuming presidency, how Islamic world is going to perceive this visit was of extreme importance.
This is also surprising to note that a non Muslim, from a non Muslim country delivered speech about Islam and its ideology in front of the leaders of 55 Muslim-majority countries, marking Trump’s first effort to reach out to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide.
May be his speech was aimed at resetting his relationship with the Muslim world after making a slew of Islamophobic remarks on the campaign trail, calling for a ban on six Muslim majority countries and declaring “Islam hates us.”
Well in order to further strengthen the ties with Arab world, President Trump marked an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion — the largest single arms sale in United States history. Trump’s rationale behind arming Saudi Arabia will help in the combating terrorism and protect US interests in the region..
$350 Billion Arms Deal
White House confirmed a multi-billion dollar arms deal between US and Saudi Arabia, a move supposedly going to solidifies the ties between the two countries, further strengthening the decade-long alliance with the world’s largest oil exporter just as President Donald Trump begins his maiden trip abroad as leader of the free world.
A $350 billion agreement spanning over 10 years was made, out of which $110 billion will take effect immediately, this deal involving such an whopping amount, was hailed by the White House as “a significant expansion of security relationship” between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia is undergoing a broad and extensive economic reform, increasing its industrial and military strength as a result of which, the country signed a flurry of deals with private U.S. companies worth tens of billions of dollars.
Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest defense contractors whose technology was part of the U.S-Saudi accord, said in a statement that the deal “will directly contribute to [Saudi Arabia’s] Vision 2030 by opening the door for thousands of highly skilled jobs in new economic sectors.”
The arms package also includes the enhancement and reinforcing the capabilities of Saudi Arabia’s military to tackle any untoward situation in the region, as US considers Saudis a linchpin in efforts to combat regional radical terrorism.
During the tenor of 10 years, US contractors will supply defense equipment and services to support the Kingdom’s long-term security as well as the whole Gulf region, while also augmenting the country’s ability to contribute to counter-terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations.
Its also worth noting that Saudi Arabia is the primary destination for U.S. arms sales, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, with the Kingdom purchasing nearly 10 percent of U.S. exports from 2011 to 2015.
$1.2 Billion Worth Of Gifts
Saudi King Shah Salman presented gifts worth of $1.2 billion to US President Donald Trump on his departure from the kingdom.
The gifts included a precious diamond, armband made of pure gold with King Salman’s photo imprinted on it and 25 kilogram heavy sword worth $200 million, made of pure gold with different diamonds and stones on it.
Gold and diamond made watches, worth of an additional $ 200 million, were also gifted to Trump and his family.
A gold made small replica of Statue of Liberty, decorated with diamond and precious stones will also be sent to White House soon.
Meanwhile, one of the major roads in Riyadh has also been named after Trump.
A 125 meter long yacht, which is world’s tallest personal yacht as it has 80 rooms with 20 royal suits, will also be sent through US navy to America.
No US President has received these kinds of gifts before by and Saudi royal.