03/23/2018, 11.14
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US set for billion dollar arms sale to the Saudis

The agreement was signed during the meeting between President Trump and the Saudi hereditary prince, who is visiting the United States. Congress now has30 days for ratification, which provides for the supply of 6700 anti-tank missiles. Amnesty International: It’s not just the United States fuelling the conflict in Yemen with the arms trade, but also the United Kingdom and France.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The US administration led by President Donald Trump has signed a 1 billion dollar arms deal with the leaders of Saudi Arabia. The signature came in the context of the visit of the Saudi hereditary prince Mohammed Bin Salman (Mbs), the first diplomatic overseas trip since he was appointed number two in the kingdom.

In the late afternoon yesterday, the US State Department informed Congress of its intention to approve the sale. The parliamentarians will have 30 days to give the go-ahead to the agreement or try to stop its implementation; however, this hypothesis seems very unlikely because President Trump's party controls both chambers.

The package includes up to about 6,700 U.S.-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.

The US Defense Sources point out that the sale is in line "with US foreign policy" and pursues "national security objectives" by “improving the security of a friendly country”. Riyadh continues, the note continues to be "an important force for economic growth and political stability" in the Middle East [read in an anti-Iranian key].

The United States seems to have overcome the "doubts" of the past on the sale of weapons to the Saudis and that they were used to fuel the bloody war in Yemen. A conflict that also involves, at the supplier level, other nations of the Western bloc: Amnesty International have accused the United Kingdom and France [as well as Spain and Italy] of "continuing to transfer weapons for billions of dollars" to the Arab coalition. A trade, they add, which ends up "inflicting terrible suffering on the population".

Riyadh has long been the leader in the arms race in a region that holds the record in the global weapons trade. "We believe that Saudi Arabia - said US Defense Minister Jim Mattis - is part of the solution" to the problems of the Middle East and the Yemeni conflict.

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