The Trump administration chose the Middle East as their first foreign destination since taking office in January 2017. The President made his way to the region accompanied by among others, his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The Secretary held a press conference with the Saudi foreign minister, Al-Jubeir on the 20th of May 2017 in the nation’s capital. During the meet up with the press, both leaders expressed their nation’s commitment and resolve towards building stronger ties.
Trump Warms Up to the Saudis
The US-Saudi relationship has become an interesting talking caveat over the months since President Trump ascended into power. The campaign rhetoric used by Donald Trump hinted strongly at diminished cooperation and collaborations with the nations in this particular region. But, once again, the president surprised everyone by warming up to the region. In fact, the President was in the nation to work on the Joint Strategic Vision which would see the two super power nations address issues like the rise of extremism in the region and most importantly, better defense systems to protect against the terrorists like the ISIS.
The US pledged to inject funds to boost the educational sector in Saudi Arabia as well. The Saudi foreign minister reiterated that the collaboration was the best thing for all parties involved and for the rest of the world as it tries to fight the scourge of extremism. One of the biggest winners from the Trump visit has to be the Saudi Defense Forces. The latter are reported to be receiving sums of more than $100B to improve and advance their military and defense capabilities. Secretary Tillerson described the deal as a win-win for both the US and the Saudis since it would deter terrorism and thousands of jobs would be available for American defense contractors and other experts.
Yemeni Situation Update
At the same time, the Saudi administration though its foreign minister vilified the Iranians for their recent actions which caused further instability in the ME region. Al-Jubeir also reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to intervening in the civil war which continues to rage on in the Yemeni nation.
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