Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 10:30 am (146 views)
Reuters: Detecting a US munitions deal for Saudi Arabia worth $ 7 billion
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Follow-up / Sky Press:
Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy precision-guided munitions from US defense companies worth about $ 7 billion in a deal that some lawmakers may object to for the contribution of US-made weapons to civilian deaths during the Riyadh-led campaign in Yemen, the Reuters news agency reported.
The two companies, Raytheon and Boeing, were part of a deal to buy $ 110 billion worth of weapons that coincided with President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in May, the agency said.
Arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other GCC member states have become a controversial issue within the US Congress, which must approve such deals. The US State Department has yet to formally inform Congress of the precision-guided munitions deal.
Republican Rep. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced in June that he would stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council members because of the dispute with Qatar, another US ally in the Gulf region.
"We do not comment to confirm or deny sales until Congress is officially notified," a State Department official told the agency, adding that the US government would take into account factors such as "regional balance, human rights and impact on the US defense industry base."
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman, declined to comment on the deal, but said in a statement on Wednesday evening that Riyadh would implement the agreements signed during Trump's visit.
"While the kingdom has always chosen the United States to buy weapons, the choice of the Saudi market remains an option and it is committed to defending its security," he said.