US and Saudi Arabia sign arms deals worth almost $110bn

US and Saudi Arabia sign arms deals worth almost $110bn

The US and Saudi Arabia have signed arms deals worth almost $110bn, a White House official said on Saturday, the first day of President Donald Trump's visit to the traditional US ally, Al Jazeera reports.

"This package of defence equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats," the official said on Saturday.

It will also bolster the Saudi Arabia's "ability to contribute to counter-terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the US military to conduct those operations," the official added.

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Riyadh, said that the arms deal would be seen by both signatories as a "win-win", especially as the deal involved arms that Obama was not prepared to sell to Saudi Arabia.

The arms sale agreement was just one of a series of deals to be announced during the visit, with US conglomerate General Electric saying it had also signed agreements and memorandums of understanding worth $15bn.

Trump held talks with King Salman and was to meet the kingdom's two crown princes on Saturday, before giving a speech on Islam to leaders of Muslim countries on Sunday.

For Riyadh the visit is an opportunity to rebuild ties with a key ally, strained under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama who Sunni Arab Gulf states suspected of a tilt towards their Shiite regional rival Iran.

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