US Approves $500 Million Military Deal for Saudi Arabia

The US State Department approved on Thursday a potential $500 million deal between Washington and Riyadh to extend technical maintenance services for US helicopters used by the Saudi military.

The Defense and Security Cooperation Agency of the US Department of Defense said, in a statement, that “the US State Department issued a resolution ratifying a foreign military deal with Saudi Arabia to continue technical maintenance services and supply the appropriate equipment with an approximate value of $500 million.”

The Pentagon explained that the deal includes the maintenance of six types of helicopters, noting that the potential agreement “will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States” in the Middle East.

Final approval of the deal requires ratification by the US Congress.

This military deal is the first major military agreement of this kind between the United States and Saudi Arabia since the current US President, Joe Biden, took power in his country in January 2021.

Since the beginning of the US-Saudi aggression against Yemen, US arms transfers to Saudi Arabia amounted to $3 billion; between 2015 and 2020, the US agreed to sell over $64.1 billion worth of weapons to Riyadh, averaging $10.7 billion per year. Despite the calls to stop the arms sales to those countries because of war crimes against citizens in Yemen, sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also rose exponentially.

Regarding arms sales to the UAE, US President Joe Biden had announced that he would review an arms deal signed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, worth more than 23 billion dollars, but he announced in mid-April that he would move forward with fulfilling the deal.

Biden’s retraction from canceling the arms deal to UAE was widely criticized by human rights organizations in the United States and the world, as Abu Dhabi is a source of support for regional terrorism.


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