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What's In The US' New Deals With Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia signed two massive deals with the U.S. and U.S.-based companies Saturday.
Posted at 4:24 PM, May 20, 2017

Two deals totaling over $150 billion were finalized during President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia — his first foreign trip since taking office.

The first is a massive defense agreement — which Trump signed Saturday — that includes $110 billion in fighter jets, tanks and the THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, antimissile system.

Former President Barack Obama had previously approved the sale of a number of weapons included in Trump's deal with Saudi Arabia. But the Obama administration pulled back its offer to sell precision-guided munitions to the country over concerns the Saudis were targeting civilians in Yemen, where they've been conducting a war against Iran-backed rebels.

The second deal is really a collection of smaller deals between Saudi Arabia and U.S.-based defense and energy companies to further develop the kingdom's military as well as diversify its economy, which is heavily dependent on oil. Those deals total $55 billion.

While Trump touts Saudi Arabia as a key American ally in the fight against ISIS, that alliance has its limits. Saudi Arabia effectively blocked the United Nations from adding the kingdom's local ISIS cell to the U.N.'s list of terrorist groups a couple weeks ago.