Saudi Arabia welcomes Trump visit

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says Trump's upcoming visit will enhance cooperation between the United States and Muslim countries.

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Ben Ariel,

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Reuters

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, on Thursday hailed an upcoming visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to the kingdom.

Jubeir said the visit would enhance cooperation between the United States and Muslim countries in the fight against extremism, Reuters reported.

Trump announced the trip earlier Thursday, which will take him to Israel in addition to Saudi Arabia. The president called the trip “truly historic”, and said it was aimed at combating “extremism, terrorism, and violence.”

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Jubeir said the trip would include a bilateral summit, a meeting with Arab Gulf leaders and another with leaders of Arab and Muslim countries.

"It's a very clear message to the world that the U.S. and the Arab Muslim countries can form a partnership," Jubeir said, according to Reuters.

"It will lead to, we believe, enhanced cooperation between the U.S. and Arab and Islamic countries in combating terrorism and extremism and it will change the conversation with regards to America's relationship with the Arab and Islamic world," he added.

Jubeir also said the Trump administration had taken steps to advance the sale of precision guided bombs, suspended by the previous administration over civilian casualties concerns.

"The administration has released them and they're in the process now of working on the notification to the U.S. Congress," he was quoted as having.

The sale is expected to include more than $1 billion worth of the munitions made by Raytheon Co, people familiar with the talks have said, including armor-piercing Penetrator warheads and precision guided Paveway laser-guided bombs.

Relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia were tense during the tenure of former President Barack Obama, mainly due to the nuclear deal with Iran.

During the negotiations between Iran and world powers, Saudi Arabia and other major Sunni states expressed concern over a deal which would allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons – a position which placed them very close to Israel’s position on the matter.

Ultimately, however, Saudi Arabia's government announced that it welcomed the deal.








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