Saudi Arabia's crown prince meets Trump

Trump, Saudi Arabia prince bond over arms deals, hostility to Iran

In Oval Office talks, Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman discussed an agreement previous year for $200 billion worth of Saudi investments with the United States, including large purchases of U.S. military equipment.

He says the relationship between the nations was "strained" during former President Barack Obama's tenure but that he and the crown prince have become "very good friends in a short period of time".

It's an honor to have the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia with us, and his representatives, many of whom I know and I met in May when we were over there, where a promise of $400 billion was made by Saudi Arabia for the purchase of our equipment and other things.

While in Washington, the crown prince is holding separate meetings with a long roster of influential USA officials, including the secretaries of defense, treasury and commerce, the Central Intelligence Agency director and congressional leaders from both parties.

Prior to his visit, Crown Prince Mohammed told "60 Minutes" Saudi Arabia would immediately seek to obtain a nuclear weapon if Iran developed one. The United States embrace that with open arms as military equipment sale to Saudi Arabia will create 40,000 American jobs.

Since Trump took office a year ago and visited Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip, Riyadh and Washington have strengthened ties and sought to work together on mutual goals involving Iran, such as curbing its rising influence in the Mideast.

After discussing the arms sales, Trump suggested that the United States could soon extricate itself from Middle East conflicts after years of involvement in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Prince Says Kushner Is Not 'In His Pocket'
Saudi Arabia's nuclear program is "a massive contract that also has massive geopolitical implications", according to the Soufan Group, another political consultancy.

The crown prince is also due to meet with members of the U.S. Congress, some of whom have been critical of the Saudi campaign in Yemen, particularly the humanitarian situation and civilian casualties. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News.

The crown prince also has been closely identified with the three-year-old war in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, which started while he was defense minister. The Saudis and their allies are fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels, but worldwide organisations have harshly criticized the coalition's airstrikes and blockading of Yemeni ports for contributing to thousands of civilian deaths and a humanitarian catastrophe.

Images of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen prompted Trump a year ago to issue a rare rebuke of Saudi policy, urging the kingdom to lift a blockade on the civil war-wracked country "immediately".

Trump has suggested he may break the agreement in May, prompting critics to say that any such move would spark a nuclear arms race in the region between the Saudis and the Iranians, who have threatened to disown the 2015 accord if the USA walks away. He's showing reporters a sign that lists Saudi purchases and another of pending sales of military equipment to the kingdom.

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.

Kushner has developed a close relationship with Salman, setting the stage for more communication between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

But as the talks took place, USA senators were debating a resolution seeking an end to American support for Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen's civil war.

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