Jubeir: Great effort by Mohammed bin Salman led to Trump visit to Riyadh

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in a Twitter message commended the great effort by the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in managing the Saudi-US relationship.

“The President's first foreign trip will be to a Muslim country. Thank you Mohammed bin Salman and welcome President Trump,” Jubeir said in another tweet.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Jubeir said on Thursday that the Trump administration has taken steps in the congressional notification process to advance the sale of Raytheon Co precision-guided missiles to the US ally.

“The administration has released them and they’re in the process now of working on the notification to the US Congress,” Jubeir said.

The sale is expected to include more than $1 billion worth of the munitions made by Raytheon Co, people familiar with the talks have said, including armor-piercing Penetrator warheads and precision guided Paveway laser-guided bombs.

With regards to the sale and the Arab coalition's support of the Legitimate government in Yemen to return to power, a US official said: “The Trump administration, as you heard from (Secretary of Defense Jim) Mattis, wants to be supportive of the coalition in Yemen because they understand that this is a ... conflict that involves Iran.”

Following the 2011 uprising against Yemen’s then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, several events occurred that led to the country’s political turmoil. As factions fought for control of Yemen, the power vacuum led Iran-backed Houthi militias to take advantage of instability and rising fuel prices to oust Hadi’s government in Sept. 2014.

Fighting extremism

The foreign minister said the upcoming visit by US President Donald Trump to the kingdom would enhance cooperation between the United States and Muslim countries in the fight against extremism.

Speaking to reporters after the Trump administration said the president would visit Riyadh this month, Jubeir said the trip would include a bilateral summit, a meeting with Arab Gulf leaders and another with leaders of Arab and Muslim countries.

“It’s a very clear message to the world that the US and the Arab Muslim countries can form a partnership,” Jubeir said.

“It will lead to, we believe, enhanced cooperation between the US and Arab and Islamic countries in combating terrorism and extremism and it will change the conversation with regards to America’s relationship with the Arab and Islamic world.”

“It’s a clear and powerful message that the US harbors no ill will” toward the Arab and Muslim world, he said. “It also lays to rest the notion that America is anti-Muslim. ... It’s a very clear message to the world that the US and the Arab Muslim countries can form a partnership.”

(With inputs from Reuters)