That’s what friends are for: How much is Saudi investing with its US ally?

March 21, 2018 6:44 pm


Two global leaders are putting their heads together to come up with a long-term strategy that will cement relations that go back many decades.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Donald Trump are getting into win-win scenarios on a trip that will see technology and entertainment industries, among others, offer a red-carpet reception to their royal guest.

What has Trump and the crown prince been discussing?

VIDEO: Trump detailing $billions of Saudi arms the kingdom bought

 Praise   

President Donald Trump welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as a friend of the US.

Crown Prince Mohammed praised the kingdom’s “really deep” relationship with the US.

Crown Prince Mohammed has begun a three-week trip across the US, his first visit since his crowning.

The crucial meeting with Trump goes a long way towards strengthening bilateral relations between the US and Saudi while developing an increasingly close partnership, from issues related to regional politics involving Iran and Qatar to bolstering business ties beyond energy into technology, defense, and entertainment.

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Business deals

According to CNBC President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince to share his nation’s wealth by continuing to purchase American-made weapons.

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

“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.

“There’s nobody that even comes close to us in terms of technology and the quality of the equipment, and Saudi Arabia appreciates that.”

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According to Reuters, Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed discussed an agreement last year for $200 billion worth of Saudi investments with the United States, including large purchases of U.S. military equipment.

“Trump said the military sales contributed to the creation of 40,000 American jobs,” said Reuters.

“The crown prince, who is also the defense minister, is on a public relations blitz while traveling in the United States, with stops in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston to cultivate investments.”

The meeting paved the way for what’s to come ahead.

“They also discussed nuclear cooperation. Riyadh has been stepping up plans to develop a civilian nuclear energy capability as part of a plan to reduce its dependence on oil,” said Reuters.

These plans are also a countermeasure to Iran’s Nuclear plans.

The New York Times said Trump repeated his description of the Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by President Barack Obama, as the “worst deal ever.”

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Saudi Arabia on Monday called the Iran nuclear deal a “flawed agreement,” and Trump has made clear he plans to exit the agreement unless changes are made to it

“For his part, Prince Mohammed will be soliciting $35 billion in American investment to accelerate his plan to overhaul Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure,” said the daily.

Much of the itinerary on his two-week trip is outside of Washington. He plans to travel to New York, Boston, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Houston, visiting companies that include Apple, Google, and Lockheed Martin.

The New York Times said the crown prince, in a rare foray into speaking English, said on Tuesday the Saudi pledge for $200 billion in US investments would end up at $400 billion when fully implemented.

“He said a 10-year window for implementing the deal was underway,” the daily said.

“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.”

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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