'Your are beyond the Crown Prince,' Trump praises wealthy Mohammad Bin Salman

Lucy Bush
March 22, 2018

Even as the crown prince joined Trump for a meeting and working lunch, Congress was discussing legislation to scale back US military support for a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, with a preliminary vote planned for Tuesday afternoon.

The talks were part of the first visit by the prince to the United States since he became the heir apparent past year to King Salman.

When reporters asked the crown prince about the Iran deal, he said only, "We'll talk about that today".

He hailed the military sales as a boost to American jobs.

That same Yemen War, however, is driving Saudi arms purchases from the USA and United Kingdom, as constant airstrikes mean they're constantly needing to buy more bombs and other equipment.

Trump gave an effusive welcome to the young prince on his first trip to the United States, 10 months after the president's own sumptuous reception in the kingdom.

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After his visit to Washington, Mohammed will embark on a nationwide tour, visiting New York, Boston, oil hub Houston, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

The resolution - which was sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators - went against the wishes of President Donald Trump, who has expressed nothing but enthusiastic support for Saudi Arabia, remaining silent when it the Gulf kingdom's human rights violations and the war in Yemen.

Just hours after the prince left the White House, the US Senate rejected a bipartisan bid created to withdraw US intelligence and reconnaissance support for the war.

A Saudi-led coalition is fighting to counter the influence of Iran, an ally of the Houthi militia, which denies any help from Teheran and say it is fighting a revolution against corrupt politicians and Gulf powers in thrall to the West.

A senior Trump administration official said the two leaders talked about the humanitarian situation in Yemen and that civilian casualties "did not come up in a major way", given that Washington had been working with the Saudis to minimize them.

Crown Prince Mohammed spearheaded the invasion of Yemen shortly after being named minister of Defense in 2015. And Saudi Arabia appreciates that. It is United States who will gain!

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"Trump in his remarks before luncheon said, "... the relationship is probably the strongest it's ever been.

"I thought your father made a very wise decision".

"You were the crown prince, and now you are beyond the crown prince", he said, before adding that he misses Mohammed's father, King Salman, and hopes to see him soon.

He told a crowd in the northeastern city of Mashad in a Persian New Year message that the United States would not achieve its goals in the region. He said a ten year window for implementing the deal was under way.

The visit comes at a complicated moment in French-Saudi relations. Prince Mohammed personally favored NY, although Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was wary of litigation risks connected with a possible NY listing.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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