President Donald Trump made a splashy debut on the world stage here Saturday, ushering in a new era in U.S.-Saudi Arabian relations by signing a joint “strategic vision” that includes $110 billion in American arms sales and other new investments that the administration said would bring hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“It was a great day,” Trump said. He cited “tremendous investments in the United States . . . and jobs, jobs, jobs.”
While initial details were scant, the agreements signed included a U.S. letter of intent to “support Saudi Arabia’s defence needs” with sales of a number of items - naval ships, tanks and other vehicles - that were the subject of agreements under earlier administrations, as well as some new items that had never passed the discussion stage, such as sophisticated THAAD missile defence systems.
Trump was received like visiting royalty from the moment Air Force One touched down in Riyadh on Saturday morning, after an all-night flight from Washington, where he hoped to leave behind the growing Russia scandal threatening his presidency. there was public silence from the U.S. delegation on the issue of human rights in Saudi Arabia, which has imprisoned peaceful critics of the government and has sharply restricted the rights of women. Ahead of the visit, Trump’s advisers said the president did not intend to “lecture” his hosts.
By Philip Rucker, Karen Deyoung , (c) 2017, The Washington Post · May 21, 2017 - RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -