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22 May, 2017

US and Saudis agree to arms deals worth almost $110 billion

Now they can kill more poor Yemen civilians

Washington has agreed to arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth almost $110bn on Saturday, the first day of President Donald Trump’s visit to the traditional US ally, with options for as much as $350bn over 10 years.

Trump hailed the $110bn deal for Saudi purchases of US defence equipment and services, which was reached during meetings in Riyadh.

That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States,” Trump said at talks with Saudi King Salman. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Trump was in Riyadh on his first foreign trip since becoming president, an eight-day tour that will also take the US president to Jerusalem, the Vatican and meetings with leaders in Europe.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the agreements aim to help Saudi Arabia deal with “malign Iranian influence”.

The package of defence equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf region,” Tillerson told reporters in Riyadh. This is “in particular in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian-related threats which exist on Saudi Arabia’s borders on all sides,” he said.

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