KXIP vs KKR Live Score

In opening remarks before a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Trump crowed about the sales, running through a list of $12.5 billion in approved arms purchases by Saudi Arabia and previewing billions more to come.

Speaking in English, Prince Mohammed is pointing out significant Saudi investments in the U.S.

"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", Trump said.

Prince Mohammed will also meet with US Vice President Mike Pence and White House officials.

The White House today said there is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to be a key interlocutor between the U.S. and Pakistan, as President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction over "bare minimum" actions taken by Islamabad against terror groups.

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.

Trump says Saudi Arabia is "footing a big part of the bill" for defense in the Middle East. Trump told reporters, "The deal is coming up in one month, and you will see what happens".

Saudi crown prince received an effusive welcome at the White House from President Trump, who hailed a "great friendship" with the kingdom - but made no public mention of the sticking points in the burgeoning alliance. The two leaders view Iran as a threat to the Middle East region, making Saudi-U.S. relations a priority for the administration.


In a major Saudi shakeup a year ago, Prince Mohammed pushed aside his older and more experienced cousin to become first-in-line to his father's throne, setting himself up to control Saudi policy for decades to come.

Illustrative: In this Saturday, March 29, 2014 file photo, a woman drives a vehicle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving.

According to media reports, both leaders stressed the strength and potential of Saudi-US ties before sitting down for talks with their officials where the President remarked on the improved relations with Saudi Arabia forged under his administration.

Also of note is the Saudi role in the every-worsening civil war in Yemen, which has sparked a response from a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have called for an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-backed coalition who are fighting Iranian-backed Houthis in the country. The prince has tried to make steps towards this vision of the last few years, including by allowing women to drive last year.

But an all-out PR campaign created to burnish the crown prince's image, and declarations that "relations have never been better", mask several problems that could spoil the honeymoon. Trump will emphasize the importance of a strong and unified Gulf Cooperation Council, whose members include both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

But the minister of energy said he has serious reservations about taking it public on Wall Street.

A key focus of his visit will be any information on a potentially lucrative listing of up to 5 percent of Saudi oil firm Aramco. The editorial notes that as part of that escalation, Salman has "brazenly announced his ambition to acquire nuclear weapons if Iran acquired them", but if this has any impact on the Trump White House it will likely be the further entrenchment of its commitment to tightening restrictions on Iran at the expense of the JCPOA. Saudi concerns with NY include a post-9/11 law that could jeopardize assets in the United States if victims' families claim Saudi Arabia helped the al-Qaida attackers and sue for compensation.

Although the USA has welcomed MBS's determination to purge pervasive corruption in Saudi Arabia, including by royals, the Trump administration hasn't endorsed his tactics.


COMMENTS