Trump meets with Saudi crown prince on infrastructure, Iran


Saudi Arabia is a "very wealthy" nation and will hopefully share some of its wealth with the USA by making investments in America, President Donald Trump said today as he welcomed the oil-rich country's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to the White House.

While it is likely that Prince Mohammed could independently learn who were his critics, he may have wanted to let it be known that Kushner shared that information with him in order to show his close relationship with the United States, the unnamed USA official said.

Trump gave a warm welcome at White House to the powerful Crown Prince and credited U.S. defence sales to the Saudis boosting American jobs. He says that Saudi Arabia is "working very hard" to cut off that funding.

A noticeable cooling between the United States and Riyadh during the Obama administration, which culminated in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, prompted Brookings to describe the relationship as "rocky", while the Financial Times called it "toxic".

Prior to his visit, Crown Prince Mohammed told "60 Minutes" Saudi Arabia would immediately seek to obtain a nuclear weapon if Iran developed one.

The US president played host to Prince Mohammed past year when he was jockeying for position in the court of his father, King Salman. King Salman is to visit the United States later this year. Still, Trump's administration doesn't want Congress to cut assistance for Saudi-led operations there, warning that without USA help, civilian deaths would only increase.

In December, Saudi Arabia was able to intercept an Iranian missile launched by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, preventing it from entering Riyadh, potentially causing many casualties.

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Asked whether he was prepared to pull the United States out of the deal, Trump said "we're going to see what happens".

"We are trying also to tackle new opportunities and to prepare the visit of His Majesty as soon as possible with the new waves of opportunities in the different area, and we believe we can do a lot of great things together", said the Crown Prince.

Trump says Saudi Arabia is "footing a big part of the bill" for defense in the Middle East.

Kushner has developed a close relationship with Salman, setting the stage for more communication between the USA and Saudi Arabia.

During the meeting, a senior administration official said, the two leaders took up an array of thorny issues: Mr. Trump's coming decision on whether to rip up the Iran nuclear deal; Saudi Arabia's bitter dispute with its neighbor, Qatar; and the brutal civil war in Yemen, which has led lawmakers to propose a cutoff in American support for a Saudi-led bombing campaign that has killed thousands, New York Times reported.

Although the U.S. has welcomed MBS's determination to purge pervasive corruption in Saudi Arabia, including by royals, the Trump administration hasn't endorsed his tactics.

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