Saudi a Key Partner Against Iran; $110 Billion Arms Deal in Pipeline: Trump

Saudi Arabia pays a vital part in counterbalancing Iran in the Middle East according to US President Donald Trump. Saudi Arabia is not only a key ally of the US, but also one of the biggest purchasers of US weapons and this has put Washington in a “complex” situation with regards to the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia confessed to the killing dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul and has sacked a top general and arrested several people in this connection. Earlier, there were reports that Riyadh may even replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his brash and volatile behaviour which led to the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

“They [Saudis] have been a great ally in the Middle East. We need them as a counter-balance to Iran. So it’s not the simplest solution. It’s not the simplest situation to be in,” said Donald Trump.

Trump told reporters that he found the account “credible” although he had to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to clear up a few more things.

Asked whether he would stay true to his promise of punishing the perpetrators of the murder, Trump said the situation needed to be handled with care because billions of dollars in arms sales were at stake. “Saudi Arabia has been a great ally but what happened is unacceptable,” Trump said.

“I would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may determine to do if anything,” the president said. “But I would prefer that we don’t use as retribution, cancelling the $110 billion worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs.”

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