Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Saudi crown prince to make official visit to France next week

Saudi crown prince to make official visit to France next week

On March 22, the Trump administration approved an arms sale of 1 billion US dollars to Saudi Arabia, including about 6,700 USA -built anti-tank missiles. The artillery-firing vehicles launch 155mm shells.

"This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force's (RSLF) interoperability with USA forces and conveys US commitment to Saudi Arabia's security and armed forces modernization", agency officials said in a statement issued Thursday.

"This will be recorded as a great disgrace for Saudi Arabia in the course of developments in the Islamic world", he said.

According to the statement, the latest deal will see Saudi Arabia buy 180 M109A5/A6 medium self-propelled howitzers and equipment to convert these into the M109A6 Paladin artillery system.

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Pentagon and State Department officials did not identify the defense firm which will serve as the prime contractor for the the latest arms deal to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince will meet the Spanish king in Madrid on Thursday, the royal palace said, as he continues his global diplomatic charm offensive in a bid to project a new liberal image of his conservative kingdom. Days prior to the very first arrangement was introduced, the Senate debated and then shelved a settlement calling for the end to US support for its Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

On March 22, the administration approved a $1 billion arms sale that included about 6,700 USA -built anti-tank missiles, as well as maintenance and spare parts for American tanks and helicopters in Saudi Arabia's arsenal. Tens of thousands of U.S.jobs could be created, the State Department said at the time.

Saudi Arabia has led a large-scale but so far unsuccessful Arab intervention in Yemen's civil war and has imposed a diplomatic and trade embargo on a fellow USA ally in the Gulf, Qatar.

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