During a whirlwind trip through the Middle East last year, President Donald Trump touted a $110 billion purchase of US arms by Saudi Arabia.
But that blockbuster sale was a lot less definite than it seemed, and Riyadh has reportedly resisted finalizing some of the deals.
That reluctance comes as the Saudis continue talks with Russia over its S-400 air-defense system.
President Donald Trump heralded Saudi Arabia’s purchase of $110 billion worth of US arms during a trip to the Middle East in mid-2017.
In the weeks afterward, however, it was revealed that the blockbuster sale was in fact “a bunch of letters of interest or intent,” according to Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution.
Now it seems that some of those deals remain up in the air, and the Saudis have their eyes on a rival’s wares.
According to The Washington Post, among the agreements still up in the air is the $15 billion purchase of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, made by US defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
In a sign of Trump’s continued emphasis on arms sales as a component of US foreign policy, White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner personally intervened with Lockheed to secure a 20% discount for the air-defense system.
Yet Riyadh let a September 30 deadline to wrap up that purchase come and go, according to The Post.
A Saudi official told The Post that the kingdom was still “highly interested” in the deal. “Like any military purchase,” the official added, “there are negotiations happening which we hope will conclude in the quickest means possible.”
But Trump administration officials told The Post they worried the THAAD price would now increase as US willingness to agree to co-production provisions Saudi Arabia has …read more
Source:: Business Insider