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$200 Billion Saudi-US Partnership | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Tuesday March 14, 2017. AP/Evan Vucci

Washington – US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman affirmed during a meeting at the White House in Washington the importance of confronting Iran’s destabilizing regional activities and discussed steps to deepen commercial ties and promote investment between both countries.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the White House said Trump and Prince Mohammed Bin Sultan directed their teams to explore additional steps across a broad range of political, military, security, economic, cultural, and social dimensions.

“President Trump provided his support for developing a new US-Saudi program, undertaken by joint US-Saudi working groups, and its unique initiatives in energy, industry, infrastructure, and technology worth potentially more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years,” the statement said.

Commenting on the visit, a senior adviser to the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince told Bloomberg the US-Saudi “relations had undergone a period of difference of opinion. However, the meeting has put things on the right track, and marked a significant shift in relations, across all political, military, security and economic fields.”

The advisor also said the two discussed the issue of banning some citizens from six countries from entering the US, adding that the Saudi position was that Riyadh “does not believe that this measure is targeting Muslim countries or the religion of Islam, but is rather a sovereign decision aimed at preventing terrorists from entering the US.”

The advisor also said President Trump expressed his deep respect for the Religion of Islam, considering it one of the divine religions that came with great human principles misused by radical groups.

Bloomberg also quoted the Saudi senior advisor as saying that President Trump and the Deputy Crown Prince share the same views on the gravity of the Iranian expansionist moves in the region.

“Iran’s support of terrorist organization such as Hezbollah, Qaeda, ISIS and others along with its obstructing of any deal to settle the Palestinian issue, as a form of exporting its issues abroad, are nothing but another attempt to gain the legitimacy it lacks among Muslims,” the advisor said.

According to the White House statement, both men reaffirmed their support for a strong, broad, and enduring strategic partnership based on a shared interest and commitment to the stability and prosperity of the Middle East region.

Trump also expressed his strong desire to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to continue the two countries’ consultations to help reach solutions for regional issues.

Trump had lunch on Tuesday with the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince in the family dinning room of the White House in Washington where the two men held lengthy and closed talks.