Saudis give Trump a medal and order for $110 billion in arns

(May 20)Trump's first meeting with a foreign leader outside the United States is with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. In spite of the fact that Trump in the past has had harsh words for Saudi Arabia he was presented with a medal by King Salman.

King Salman presented Trump with the King Adbulaziz Medal in a ceremony at Al-Yamamah Palace in the capital Ryadh. The ceremony was held prior to a Saudi-American summit that will discuss bilateral ties and also fighting terrorism. At the ceremony were the First Lady Melanie Trump, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other US officials plus the Saudi crown prince and deputy crown prince. After arriving Trump had a brief meeting with King Salman over coffee.
Over a two day visit Trump will be busy with three summits. The first is the US Saudi summit, the second followed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In it the group will discuss relationships on the basis of partnership and tolerance according to the Saudi press. The third is an Arab-Islamic-US summit called together by King Salman. The three summits together have the slogan "Together We Prevail". The summits aim to reaffirm shared commitment to global security, deep economic partnerships as well as constructive political and cultural cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the US. There is of course no talk of human rights or the Saudi-led coalition's possible war crimes in Yemen.
A White House statement on Saturday says that the US and Saudi Arabia have agreed to an arms deal worth almost $110 billion to satisfy Saudi Arabia's defense needs. The statement said that the deal represented a significant expansion of the decades long security arrangement with the Saudis. The deal was announced during an official visit of Trump to Saudi Arabia. The statement also noted that the weapons were needed in the face of the long term threat of Iranian influence and threats in the region. It also said that the weapons will help reduce the burden on US military forces in the region by contributing to counter-terrorism operations, It will no doubt help the Saudis in their war on Yemen and to repress Shia groups in Saudi Arabi itself. Of course the agreement will also help strengthen the military-industrial at home and provide more opportunities in the region for US companies. Raytheon wil be one. It has announced a partnership with Saudi military industries to create an Arabia business unit. Altogether Trump signed agreements worth more than $380 billion with the Saudis. Among the military equipment the Saudis will receive is the Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) that will protect the Saudis from missile or other airborne attacks. Saudi Arabia may be encouraged by the US support for its military actions in the Middle East. Perhaps a medal for Trump is just what is needed to keep the arms supplies flowing.


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