President Trump on Saturday signed a $110 billion dollar defense deal with Saudi Arabia.
The deal will work to increase Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extreme terrorist groups and Iran, a White House official said.
Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accompanied Saudi King Salman at the signing ceremony for the deal in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The funds aim to address Saudi Arabia’s defense needs while scaling back U.S. military involvement in specific operations.
The deal is expected to include top-tier equipment and services including missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, Littoral Combat Ships, THAAD missile defense systems, and munitions.
The White House said the deal will create defense jobs while also reaffirming America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia.
“That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs,” Trump said in reference to the deal, according to a pool report.
Gary Cohn, the director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, echoed the president, saying Saudi Arabia is “going to hire US companies” as a result of the defense deal. One goal of the deal is “to invest a lot of money in the U.S. and have a lot of U.S. companies invest and build things over here,” Cohn said, according to a White House press pool report from Saudi Arabia.
Trump’s first stop on his first overseas trip as president is in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia broke with most other predominantly-Muslim countries by supporting Trump’s controversial travel ban. The two countries’ leaders are also aligned in their views on Iran.
In an attempt to court the president, the kingdom promised to invest billions of dollars in in the U.S. as well and make other decisions aiming to please Trump.
“Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” Trump tweeted upon landing in Air Force One. “Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2017
Trump is expected to pledge his respect and support to Saudi leaders, respect to the region, after months of harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Trump greeted at the Saudi airport with an elaborate ceremony, punctuated by a military flyover and a handshake from Saudi King Salman.
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