President Trump and King Salman sign ground-breaking joint vision statement, which included defense cooperation agreements, $110 billion effective immediately, $350 billion over the course of ten years, as well as additional private sector agreements.
To kick off his foreign trip abroad, which will start in the Middle East and end in Europe, President Trump met with the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, as well as some of his key personnel and advisors. The overlaying commitments of the meeting were to warrant U.S.-Saudi relations in regards to ensuring security, stability, and prosperity in the region, particularly in regard to the threat of ISIS and conflicts in neighbouring countries.
During the drive from the airport to the Royal Court, several billboards with photos of President Trump and King Salman could be seen, many sporting the phrase “Together we prevail.”
Ivanka and Melania Trump both accompanied President Trump on this trip, and the pool noted that Ivanka was not wearing a headscarf. Ivanka was participating “in an animated conversation” during the tea ceremony, while FLOTUS “sat stone-faced and did not engage in any conversation”.
During the Royal Banquet Luncheon, in which President Trump received the gold medallion, also known as the King Abdul Aziz Collar, commonly considered the kingdom’s highest honour. “For President Donald Trump, the president of the United States of America, his efforts to strengthen the relationship between the two friendly countries….and his quest to enhance security and peace… in the region and the world….the highest medal in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on President Donald Trump of the United States”
President Trump also expressed support and appraisal for Saudi Arabia’s economic reform plans, and further promoted American business opportunities as a window of development for Saudi Arabia. This economic relationship was confirmed by the several deals signed by U.S. companies during the President’s visit.
King Salman expressed disdain in Syria’s current state of affairs, mentioning that “Syria too used to be one of the most advanced countries,” but that “they too brought destruction to their own country”.
Arguably the highlight of the trip was the expansion of the security relationship between the U.S. and Saudia Arabia, in which nearly $110 billion worth of foreign military sales cases to aid Saudi Arabia’s defense needs were signed for. Not only does this package provide assistance to Saudi Arabia, but it supports the creation of thousands of jobs in the U.S. defense industry, and also opens “opportunities for American countries in the region”.
This defense package is aimed at helping Saudi Arabia be protected in the region, particularly “in the face of Iranian threats”, as well as in counter-terrorism operations across the region, which, in theory, would alleviate the pressure on the American military.
President Trump’s first foreign visit appears to be off to a productive start, with a common, repeated message of a commitment to developing foreign relations in an attempt to both diminish terrorist attacks and threats of conflict, while also assisting the growth of the economy.
Tomorrow the President will meet with the King of Bahrain and Amir of Qatar, followed by meetings with the President of Egypt, Amir of Kuwait, and DPM of Omar.