President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised US defence sales to Saudi Arabia as a boost to American jobs,even as Riyadh’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war faced criticism.
In the Oval Office, Trump and Saudi Crown Prince discussed about the strenght ties between U.S and Saudi Arabia since Obama’s administration. The agreement from last year worth US$200 billion Saudi investements including large purchases of US military equipment also was a topic of their meeting. Trump said the military sales contributed to the creation of 40,000 American jobs.
Trump showed his administration’s strong support toward the crown prince, who carried out an anti-corruption purge that consolidated his power.
The talks were part of the first visit by the 32-year-old prince to the United States since the rise to power after decades of other rulers.
Trump made charts to show the depth of Saudi purchases of US military hardware, ranging from ships to missile defence to planes and fighting vehicles.
“Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation, and they’re 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,” he told reporters.
During the talks, U.S. senators debated a resolution seeking an end to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen’s civil war.
Some members of Congress have been critical of the Saudi involvement, particularly the humanitarian situation and civilian casualties.
A Saudi-led coalition, with logistical and intelligence support from Washington is fighting to counter the influence of Iran, an ally of the Houthi militia, which denies any help from Tehran and say it is fighting a revolution against corrupt politicians and Gulf powers in thrall to the West.
When the crown prince visited London earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a letter of intent to finalise talks on a multi-billion-pound order for 48 Typhoon fighter jets. Thousands of demonstrators protested outside the office of British Prime Minister Theresa May about the war in Yemen.
Sources: www.reuters.com, www.straitstimes.com