'Donald Trump has bragged about how Saudi Arabia is a “big purchaser” of American armaments as peace groups assert that the weapons the US is selling to the kingdom are being used to kill thousands of innocent people in Yemen.
“A lot of people are at work” because of Saudi Arabia’s business, Mr Trump said while welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to the White House, adding that the kingdom has finalised $12.5bn in purchases of planes, missiles and frigates from US companies.
“I would really have to say the relationship was to put it mildly the relationship was very very strained during the Obama administration, and the relationship now is probably as good as it’s really ever been, and think will probably only get better,” Mr Trump said.
In a dramatic shift from his predecessor Barack Obama, Mr Trump has adopted a pro-Saudi posture, despite what human right organisations have found to be an abysmal record of abuses by the kingdom.
To further demonstrate the countries’ “great friendship”, Mr Trump held up presentation boards showing purchases of US military equipment by Saudi Arabia.
One board titled “12.5 BILLION IN FINALIZED SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA” displayed photos and details of military equipment such as tanks and helicopters that Saudi Arabia has bought from US manufacturers. The other highlighted sales that were still pending.
Citing one purchase for $525m, he told the Crown Prince: “That’s peanuts for you”.'
Read more: Trump touts weapons deals with Saudi Arabia as peace groups accuse US of fuelling kingdom's war on Yemen
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