United States commits to defense and military partnership with Saudi Arabia
The United States has affirmed the need to help Saudi Arabia protect its territory from attacks it witnesses, underscoring the current US administration’s commitment in this regard after the State Department approved the arms sales to the Kingdom.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the approval of the sale of missiles to the Kingdom comes after “an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia”, considering that the missiles were used to intercept drone attacks, which threaten both Saudi Arabia and US forces in the country.
The State Department notified Congress of the sale of $ 650 million in missiles to Saudi Arabia, including 280 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.
The State Department confirmed that this new deal will use air defense capabilities and cannot be used to attack targets.
The aim is to replenish Saudi Arabia’s existing inventory “in accordance with President Bidne’s commitment to support Saudi Arabia’s territorial defense,” the spokesperson said.
The new deal was approved less than two months after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan visited Saudi Arabia, where he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The meeting addressed several issues in the region, including the Yemeni crisis and the causes of instability in the region, namely Iranian interference.
It comes as the United States’ special envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, visits the region for “ongoing conversations with the government of the Republic of Yemen, representatives of Yemeni civil society, senior officials of the Republic of Yemen. regional government and other international partners “.
The announcement of the sale is the second to Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration, following the previous announcement of a $ 500 million military contract. Congress has 30 days to review the deal, and the US State Department confirms that the new weapons will also provide “protection for US forces.”
“We have seen an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year. Saudi AIM-120C missiles, deployed from Saudi aircraft, have been instrumental in intercepting persistent attacks on Saudi Arabia. ‘UAS that endangered US forces and threatened the more than 70,000 US citizens in the Kingdom,’ the spokesperson said.
“The AIM-120C is an advanced medium-range air-to-air missile that is not used to engage ground targets.”
Meanwhile, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think tank chairman Richard Haas said the US administration had an interest in having a clear relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States, based on interests. common to both parties.
In an article published on the CFR website, Hass explained that diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia help resolve many issues, including the war in Yemen and the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. .
He said refusing to deal with Saudi Arabia, as rumored in political circles in Washington when Biden became president, is not the solution, adding that “pragmatic and conditional relations could bring protection and freedom. to many Saudis, make possible a collaboration to hamper Iranian nuclear power. ambitions, end the war in Yemen and advance the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. “