As he arrived in Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as U.S. President, Donald Trump forged a stronger relationship with King Salman by signing arms deal and other investments amounting to $350 billion with the Kingdom.
This new type of U.S.-Saudi partnership and convergence of interests is the result of preparatory work done by high level political and economic delegations of both the countries. US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo visited Riyadh and the intensive meetings between Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s and US President and Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir’s meetings with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
It is pertinent to mention that Trump is set to float an idea of building a regional military bloc dubbed as “Sunni Nato” at an Arab-Muslim summit in Saudi Arabia which will be attended by 50 odd leaders of Muslim countries.
Saudi led “Arab NATO” will destabilize the Middle East as Shiite Syria and Iran has the backing of Russia. Trump ‘s foreign policy agenda is to put special emphasis on peace and stability in the Middle East but his proposed multi-national mutual security architecture of Arab NATO comprising Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey will substantially change the world order as it will lead to war. Saudi Arabia which is a close friend of Pakistan will term Islamabad as a crucial ally in the war against terrorism and that will adversely effect India’s geopolitics.
Trump’s main objective is to make his first 9-day foreign trip to Middle East and Europe a success amid the political scandal engulfing his administration. Trump announced a nearly $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia as a substantial proof of a renewed commitment by the United States to the security of the Persian Gulf region thus re-shaping the politics and diplomacy of the Middle East by finding a common ground of convergence in combating terrorism.
Building a new economic partnership for the success of deputy crown prince’s ambitious Vision 2030 economic reform initiative with US companies investing hugely in Saudi corporate including a series of multibillion-dollar deals. Among them: Lockheed Martin signed a $6 billion letter of intent to assemble 150 Black Hawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, and General Electric announced projects it valued at $15 billion.
His policy of working closely with Gulf nations differs from his campaign remarks for Saudi Arabia on social networking site Twitter when he said that We demand free oil for the next 10 years from Saudi Kingdom or else we will not protect their Boeing 747s. i.e. to pay for every support.”
Trump is working on a strategy to unite the Muslim world against Islamic terrorism and extremism in view of his executive order to temporarily ban visitors entering America from nine Muslim countries, but courts have blocked his move.
Trump said it was a “tremendous day” and spoke of “hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs. So I would like to thank all the people of Saudi Arabia.”