US, Saudi Arabia Seal $110-Billion Arms Deal on Trump's Visit

Published May 21st, 2017 - 05:00 GMT
Donald Trump and King Salman during a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on Saturday May 20, 2017. (AFP)
Donald Trump and King Salman during a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on Saturday May 20, 2017. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump has closed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth almost $110 billion, and extending up to $350 billion over 10 years.

The White House announced on Saturday the $110 billion deal will take effect immediately.

"This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, while also bolstering the Kingdom's ability to contribute to counter-terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations," the White House said in a statement.

Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "will attend a signing ceremony for the deals," according to a White House official.

The deal is a victory for Trump as his political pressures intensify at home due to campaign's alleged links to Russia, and the abrupt dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey. 

The pact includes a $6 billion contract to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, an official statement about the deal said.

The deal also includes a $1 billion THAAD missile system and contract for four multi-mission warships worth $11.5 billion, according to an unnamed official cited in media.

Saudi Arabia is US arms dealers’ most important client and Washington’s no. 1 ally in the Middle East region.

Also, General Electric company (GE) said it signed agreements worth $15 billion with Saudi Arabia on Saturday during Trump's visit to the oil-rich kingdom. 

GE said it also signed a MOU with oil giant Saudi Aramco "to undertake a digital transformation of Aramco's operations," the statement said.

The MOU signed with Aramco will generate $4 billion in annual productivity improvement, it added.

The Saudi rulers have moved to diversify the oil-rich kingdom's traditionally oil-dependent economy following the sharp fall in crude prices in 2014.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material. 


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