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Trump praises arms sales as he meets Saudi crown prince

Trump praises arms sales as he meets Saudi crown prince thumbnail

President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised his relationship with Mohammed bin Salman as he met the Saudi crown prince at the White House, pointing to growing arms sales to the kingdom even as he privately pushed Riyadh to resolve the protracted dispute with US ally Qatar.

Mr Trump has formed one of the closest alliances of his presidency with Saudi Arabia over joint hostility towards Iran, but concerns over Riyadh’s hardline policy towards Qatar and its role in the conflict in Yemen have increasingly overshadowed the relationship.

“The president believes that Gulf unity is critical in the region,” said a senior administration official ahead of the meeting. The official said that while Mr Trump was initially willing to let Gulf allies deal with the dispute, he had become “much more concerned” about the detrimental impact of the dispute to US interests in the region.

The Qatar schism would be “a key point of discussion” at Tuesday’s working lunch between the two men, the official said, adding that Mr Trump’s goal would be to heal the rift and “set up mechanisms to ensure future disputes do not become as costly”.

One such mechanism could see the US act as tentative guarantor to any final agreement between the parties, according to officials briefed on the matter, but such discussions are at too early a stage for serious development.

But US officials said the president was nevertheless impatient for Gulf allies to solve the longstanding dispute ahead of a tentative summit planned for May in the US that could involve all six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Egypt and Jordan.

The continued pressure from the Trump administration to resolve the rift comes despite the president firing Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state who was seen as sympathetic to the Qataris, who host a large US military base.

Adel al Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, on Monday described the Qatar issue as “irrelevant”. Saudi Arabia and its allies accused Doha of financing extremist groups, which Qatar denies. Any steps towards a thaw over Qatar may involve establishing low-level co-operation focused on security and tentative moves towards ending an embargo.

“This antagonism on Qatar only helps the Shias as they move across the region,” said the person familiar with US efforts to resolve the dispute, referring to a political and religious faultline between Sunni Gulf states and Iran’s Shia leadership and perceived network in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The dispute with Qatar began in June when four countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates broke ranks with Doha and imposed a punitive embargo banning Qatar from their air space, access to land borders and cutting diplomatic ties.

Prince Mohammed’s meeting with Mr Trump suggests there could be more comprehensive planning between the two countries towards other Middle East issues, including how to harden their response against Iran, which both view as the overwhelming threat to regional stability.
Trump meets Saudi crown prince

“You’re going to see what I do,” Mr Trump told reporters about the future of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran he has threatened to tear up, as he sat beside Prince Mohammed in the Oval Office. The president praised Saudi Arabia as “a great friend” to the US.

Referring to military hardware that Saudi Arabia is purchasing from the US, he said: “Saudi Arabia is buying a lot of this equipment … and a lot of people are at work making this equipment.” US officials say Congress has cleared arms sales of $54bn to Saudi Arabia.

National security advisers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US will gather this week to establish a trilateral forum that will meet monthly. Working groups will plan concrete moves to counter Iran and how to draw out Riyadh’s help to support US policy in Afghanistan.

During his trip, Prince Mohammed will meet HR McMaster, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, Jim Mattis, US defence secretary, and CIA director Mike Pompeo, an Iran hawk whom Mr Trump has nominated to replace Mr Tillerson as secretary of state.

The Trump administration is also encouraging Prince Mohammed to commit to a political process to resolve the war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia leads a coalition that intervened in the war in Yemen in 2015 to back the exiled government in its battle with Houthi rebels allied to Iran. Riyadh has been heavily criticised for the high civilian death toll caused by its bombardment of the country, which is enduring what aid groups describe as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The administration is also pushing the kingdom to invest in $35bn worth of commercial deals with US companies, as Mr Trump seeks to expand not only arms sales but also to boost high-tech business and grow US jobs.

16 Comments on "Trump praises arms sales as he meets Saudi crown prince"

  1. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Mar 2018 1:25 pm 

    Trump didn’t sell any weapons to the Saudi’s..They still owe us money from weapons they bought under Obama. This is fake news!

  2. fmr-paultard on Mon, 26th Mar 2018 2:24 pm 

    it’s very strange how saudis are leaning toward kinetic wars. they used to do it spiritually. are we in “1984” or has the Year ever ended?

  3. Cloggie on Mon, 26th Mar 2018 4:56 pm 

    Bingo! I was looking for it and Google didn’t disappoint:


    This is incredible good news for those who oppose the NWO.

    KSA senses that Turkey and Iran could combine forces and divide the Saudi loot between them. And all Washington will keep is f*

    The good news is that that would leave the marxist EU US vassal regimes at the mercy of Russia.

    Go for it, Erdogan!

  4. Anonymouse1 on Mon, 26th Mar 2018 5:25 pm 

    Arms sales to saudi Israebia will make amerika great again. Great profits for amerikan war-profiteers and their stockholders that is.

  5. deadly on Mon, 26th Mar 2018 6:55 pm 

    “Prince Mohammed’s meeting with Mr Trump suggests there could be more comprehensive planning between the two countries towards other Middle East issues, including how to harden their response against Iran, which both view as the overwhelming threat to regional stability.”

    The place has been fighting for one reason or another for the past two thousand years and it is an ongoing conflict now.

    The Middle East is far from stable and never will be. Welcome to the real world.

    Good Lord.

    How to keep people stupid? Tell them lies all of the time and never the truth.

    Time to drink.

  6. makati1 on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 7:10 pm 

    The Us needs a major war so bad it hurts. The empire is crumbling faster and faster every day. Soon it will be obvious to even the dumbed down public. Can’t have the sheeple waking up. They may do something drastic like a revolution. This is going to be an exciting year so stock up on your favorite goodies, relax and enjoy the show.

  7. Boat on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 7:37 pm 


    Why would you not invest in the stock market. I would bet the Saudi own shares in the companies their buying arms from. Greece buys it’s weapons from Germany. Where do they get their loans from? Germany.Get the picture?

  8. makati1 on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 8:20 pm 

    Boat… can you tell me EXACTLY the day, hour and minute the Stock Market Casino is going to crash and burn? Because it IS going to.

    On that day, the dollar will be confetti and the Us will be over as a major power. I don’t want to be holding a hand full of confetti no matter what is printed on it.

  9. Boat on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 9:09 pm 


    As you know you have been making that claim for years. The US hasn’t even had a recession since 2007. Kinda like Trump promises proof of non American birth certificate. Y’all are not a reliable source.Peas in a pod.

  10. MASTERMIND on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 9:25 pm 


    When the US had an oil shortage back in 1973. It caused the largest stock market crash since the great depression. Now just imagine when a world oil shortage hits all the worlds exchanges in a few years!

  11. makati1 on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 9:31 pm 

    Boat, the Us is in a recession and has not left it since at least 2007. Denial does not change the REAL facts. My nontaxable ‘investment’ has doubled twice in the last 10 years with no ups and downs to stress me out. I don’t give a damn if the Stock market Casino crashes and burns today. Do you? lol

  12. MASTERMIND on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 9:36 pm 

    Letter: The Doomsday Clock is ticking faster

  13. Boat on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 9:55 pm 


    Of course I care. I was raised a preachers kid and by a great southern woman to boot. That’s why you see me speak out against racists, anti women, violence etc. I feel blessed to have been raised hard working, a sense of fairness, basic decency etc. Yep and a American who takes care of himself and extended family. Don’t want or need anything from anybody. America values taught by Americans.

  14. Boat on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 9:59 pm 


    What is the difference now. Russia and OPEC cut production to jack up oil prices. Up $25 per Barrell. You think that is for the poor?

  15. makati1 on Tue, 27th Mar 2018 11:20 pm 

    Boat, you care because you think it will make you rich without working, like your dad and religion. I had an uncle who lived off of his suckers also. Good life. No work, just bullshit.

    Religion is snake-oil for the weak minded and it’s sleazy, immoral pushers. A human construct to control, not that of some benevolent, invisible, personage, somewhere, that can read billions of minds simultaneously and control everything.

  16. Anonymouse1 on Wed, 28th Mar 2018 1:10 am 

    Boatwetards condition has not improved, or changed at all mak. He is still severely mentally retarded. There is no ‘cure’ so…..

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