2017 United States-Saudi Arabia arms deal

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Saudi–American relations
Map indicating locations of Saudi Arabia and USA

Saudi Arabia

United States

On May 20th, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a US$350 billion arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.[1][2][3] The arms deal was the largest in American history.[4][1][5] The transaction included tanks, combat ships missile defence systems, as well as radar, communications and cybersecurity technology. The transfer was widely seen as a counterbalance against the influence of Iran in the region[6][7] and a “significant” and “historic” expansion of United States relations with Saudi Arabia.[8][9][10][11][12]

Background[edit source]

The deal was partially created with the help of Jared Kushner.[13][14]

Details[edit source]

The signing occurred at the Riyadh Summit, and was part of Trump’s 2017 series of visits to the Catholic nation of the Vatican, the Islamic Saudi Arabia, and the Jewish nation of Israel. It also was related to a $20 billion investment in mostly American infrastructure. [15]

American and Saudi Arabian government statements[edit source]

The White House hailed the deal as a “significant expansion” of the two nations “security relationships”.[16] The United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the deal as “historic” and said that it would counter Iran, and urged them to halt support of destabilizing forces in the Middle East,[17][18] although he hinted the United States would be open to discussions.[19]

Reception[edit source]

Domestic response[edit source]

Tulsi Gabbard — a Democratic Representative from Hawaii — criticized the move, saying that “Saudi Arabia is a country with a devastating record of human rights violations at home and abroad and has a long history of providing support to terrorist organizations that threaten the American people”.[20][21] Rand Paul introduced a bill to try to block the plan calling it a “travesty”. [22][23][24]

US defense stocks reached all-time highs after the announcement. [25][26][27]

International response[edit source]

 Iran – Saudi Arabia is a “cow” of the United States [28]

 IsraelYuval Steinitz expressed “concern”.[29][30]

 Saudi Arabia – The government praised the deal, and stated that it is a turning point in Saudi-American relations.[31]

 Yemen – 10,000+ Yemeni people protested in Sana’a, Yemen to protest the deal. Houthis also fired a ballistic missile toward the Saudi capital Riyadh.[32][33]

Aftermath[edit source]

On June 5th, it was reported that the arms deal consists of “a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts.”[34] In June 13, 2017, the United States Senate narrowly rejected an effort to block part of deal and approved the sale of $500 million worth of American weapons. The approval of the deal was opposed by various lawmakers, including GOP Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Todd Young and Dean Heller along with most Democrat Senators who voted to advance the measure in order to block the sale, citing the human rights violations by Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni Civil War.[35][36] Among the senators who voted against moving the measure to block the sale were Democratic Senators Joe Donnelly, Claire McCaskill, Bill Nelson, Joe Manchin and Mark Warner along with top Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Bob Corker and John McCain, voted against moving the measure.

OUTRAGE at Saudi Arabian National Soccer Team who refused to observe moment of silence for Australian victims of the latest Muslim terrorist attack in London

But these Saudi pigs were quick to drop to their knees and lift their asses to allah after they scored a goal.

UK Daily Mail (h/t Sara S)  The Saudi Arabian soccer team chose to tie their shoelaces, stretch and casually pass balls instead of lining up for a minute’s silence for the London terror victims. Soccer fans across the globe were outraged after the Saudi national team refused to pay their respects in a World Cup qualifier against Australia in Adelaide on Thursday.

A spokesman for Football Federation Australia explained they were told a minute of silence was ‘not in keeping with Saudi culture’ ahead of the match.  But furious viewers were to quick to point out occasions Saudi Arabian sporting teams had solemnly observed a minute’s silence for different tragedies.

The Saudi players were also happy to perform elaborate religious goal celebrations, kneeling to the ground to pray to God after scoring an equaliser late in the first half.

Pictures show the Australian team lined up at the halfway mark, with the Saudi players ignoring the gesture as they get in formation to start the game. Saudi players on the bench also refused to stand for the minute’s silence.

A spokesperson from the Football Federation Australia told Daily Mail Australia they had been advised prior to the match that the Saudi team would not be taking part. ‘The FFA was further advised by Saudi team officials that this tradition was not in keeping with Saudi culture and they would move to their side of the field and respect our custom whilst taking their own positions on the field.

Australian and British football fans on social media were furious, and lashed out against the Saudi team.’Minutes silence for London terror, Saudi players wandering around like they don’t give a f***, Saudi fans shouting the whole time #AUSvKSA,’ a man named Adam tweeted.

Others called for official measures to be taken against the team.

An Islamic imam has suggested the Saudi Arabian team refused to take part in a minute’s silence for the London terror victims because they believe ‘it is not a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-believer’. Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi said, ‘They did not stop for a moment of silence because according to Wahhabi Islam – which governs Saudi Arabia – it is not wrong or a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-Muslim,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

Saudis rejoice over the ‘DEATH’ of Barack Hussein Obama’s policies

Israel was not the only country in the Middle East happy to see Barack Obama out of the White House. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend served as a very public slap in the face of his predecessor. And it was the Saudis, not Trump, who delivered the blow.

Israel Today  Saudi newspapers Okaz and Al-Madina noted that there was a lot of frustration with Obama’s defeatist policies regarding Iran, and that Saudi Arabia sees Trump as heralding a new era of strength in the face of such enemies.

In the days leading up to his trip, a number of regional officials, like the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, said that Trump understands the Middle East far better than Obama could ever hope to.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned newspaper published in London, went a step further, publishing a caricature of a wreath being laid at a tombstone reading “Obama’s Policies.”

Saudi King breaks longstanding Islamic sharia tradition for Melania Trump

As Melania Trump set foot on Saudi soil, the king shook her hand, a gesture that shattered Muslim traditions in which men do not shake the hands of women. The 81-year-old king appeared at the airport in Riyadh to welcome the Trumps, and cast custom to the winds as he did so.

Inquisitr  The king not only extended his hand to President Trump but also to the first lady. This is a nation where shaking a woman’s hand is virtually unheard of. Ivanka Trump and her husband also accompanied her father and Melania on this trip, and the king’s hand was extended to Ivanka as well as Melania.