US President Donald Trump has closed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion, and extending up to $350 billion over ten years. One of the largest arms deals in history.
The agreement, worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as “a significant expansion of…[the] security relationship” between the two countries.
The White House said in a statement: “This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the (Persian) Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats, while also bolstering the Kingdom’s ability to contribute to counter terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations”
Trump told reporters: “That was a tremendous day….Tremendous investments in the United States.”
Press TV reports:
Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “will attend a signing ceremony for the deals,” according to a White House official.
The deal is a victory for Trump as his political pressures intensify at home due to campaign’s alleged links to Russia, and the abrupt dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey.
The pact includes a $6 billion contract to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, an official statement about the deal said.
The deal also includes a $1 billion THAAD missile system and contract for four multi-mission warships worth $11.5 billion, according to an unnamed official cited in media.
Saudi Arabia is US arms dealers’ most important client and Washington’s No. 1 ally in the Middle East region.
Also, General Electric company said it signed agreements and memorandums of understanding worth $15 billion with Saudi Arabia on Saturday during Trump’s visit to the oil-rich kingdom.
General Electric said it also signed a MOU with oil giant Saudi Aramco “to undertake a digital transformation of Aramco’s operations,” the statement said.
The MOU signed with Aramco will generate $4 billion in annual productivity improvement, it added.
The Saudi rulers have moved to diversify the oil-rich kingdom’s traditionally oil-dependent economy following the sharp fall in crude prices in 2014.