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US committed to long-term defence contracts with Saudi Arabia

US President Donald Trump (L) meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salma in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 20 May 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council]
US President Donald Trump (L) meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 20 May 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council]

The United States remains committed to long-term defence contracts with Saudi Arabia, Pentagon Spokesperson Sean Robertson told Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in a statement.

US forces continue to have “strong capabilities” to deal with regional emergency situations, including those related to Iran, Robertson added.

“In light of the current global crisis, some of its equipment and forces are being rotated to address emerging threats and maintain preparedness,” he was quoted in Asharq Al-Awsat sister publication Arab News as saying in his statement.

Earlier in May, the US pulled two Patriot anti-missile systems from Saudi Arabia, which prompted questions on whether it was cutting down its forces and equipment in the region.

READ: MBS and the kingdom of fear

But Robertson told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Department of Defence “is doing routine work in managing its power around the world.”

“In light of the current global crisis, some of its equipment and forces are being rotated to address emerging threats and maintain preparedness.”

“We continue to work with the international community and the Saudi armed forces to strengthen regional air defense capabilities,” he added.

While the US and oil-rich Saudi Arabia have maintained a historic alliance, with Washington providing critical support for the kingdom’s regime and royal family, this relationship has come under international scrutiny as human rights organisations and activists continue to highlight Riyadh’s crackdown on dissidents. In particular following the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The US can’t wash off Saudi’s crimes – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUS
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