US to sell arms $1b arms to Saudi Arabia

Washington: The Trump administration signed off on selling arms worth more than $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) to Saudi Arabia as Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman visits the United States.

The State Department says the administration told Congress on Thursday that it plans to approve the sale. Lawmakers will have 30 days to act if they want to try to stop it.

The package includes up to about 6,700 US-built anti-tank missiles. Raytheon Co. makes the missiles.

Other items include support, maintenance and spare parts for American tanks, helicopters and other equipment already in Saudi Arabia’s arsenal.

Prince Mohammad met on Tuesday with President Donald Trump as he started his three-week US tour.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Saudi Arabia is “part of the solution” in Yemen, where the Saudis are leading a US-supported military campaign against the Iran-allied Al Houthi militia.

Mattis spoke at the start of a Pentagon meeting with Prince Mohammad, who is on a three-week US visit. Last week the Senate debated and then shelved a resolution calling for an end to US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Mattis opposed the measure.

Mattis said Saudi Arabia has “stood by the United Nations-recognised government, and we are going to end this war. That is the bottom line.”


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