On Saturday, the White House announced a $350 billion weapons deal with long-time Gulf State ally Saudi Arabia. The announcement comes as President Trump charts a new course with the Islamic world and meets with Arab leaders in Riyadh.
“The agreement, which is worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as ‘a significant expansion of … [the] security relationship between the two countries,” reports CNBC. “The arms package represents an enhancement of Saudi Arabia’s military capabilities as tensions flare in the region, with the U.S. viewing the Saudis as a linchpin in efforts to check the global ambitions of Iran.”
Since January, the Trump administration has been striving to move away from Obama-era policies privileging the fraught nuclear deal with Iran over America’s traditional alliances with Saudi Arabia and Israel.
“This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats, 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,” reads a White House statement announcing the arms deal.