US approves $1bn arms sales to KSA

The deals had been in the pipeline since President Donald Trump agreed more than $100 billion in contracts on a visit to Riyadh last year. (SPA)
Updated 25 March 2018
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US approves $1bn arms sales to KSA

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has approved the possible sale to Saudi Arabia of TOW anti-tank missiles, part of a bigger $1 billion package that also includes helicopter maintenance and spare parts for military vehicles.
The department said it had notified the US Congress on Thursday of the possible sale, which kick-starts a formal congressional review process.
Saudi Arabia requested to buy 6,600 TOW missiles and an additional 96 for training for a total of $670 million, the State Department said in a statement.
The proposed sale would improve the security of an important ally in the Middle East, it added.
“The proposed sale of TOW 2B missiles and technical support will advance Saudi Arabia’s efforts to develop an integrated ground defense capability,” the department said.
In addition, the State Department said it had also approved the possible sale worth $300 million of parts for Saudi Arabia’s fleet of Abrams tanks and armored vehicles.
Furthermore, it also gave the green light for the proposed sale of equipment and services worth $106.8 million for Saudi Arabia’s fleet of military helicopters.
The announcements came days after US President Donald Trump hosted Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House, crediting US defense sales to the Saudis with boosting American jobs.
Earlier on Thursday, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told the crown prince there was an urgent need to find a political solution to Riyadh’s campaign in Yemen’s war.
 


World celebrates Saudi National Day

Updated 23 September 2018
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World celebrates Saudi National Day

DUBAI: From Dubai to Beirut to New York and Washington, D.C., Saudi National Day was celebrated outside of the Kingdom on Sunday as a show of patriotism by Saudis abroad and as a sign of friendship by countries around the world.

The Dubai airline operated a special one-off A380 service, known as EK 813 and EK 814, on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30 p.m. The return flight was scheduled to depart at 6:50 p.m.

A YouTube video from Emirates also showed crew handing out scarves embroidered with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers while boarding the A380 aircraft.

 

The Burj Khalifa was illuminated with the Saudi flag last night, while the Nasdaq Tower’s electronic billboard in New York’s Times Square was lit up with photos of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

The images were posted by Nasdaq Dubai, the UAE-based operation of the New York equities exchange, on Twitter with the message: “Best wishes from #NasdaqDubai to #SaudiArabia on the occasion of the 88th National Day.”

 

 

In Lebanon, Pigeons’ Rock, also known as the Rock of Raouché, located in the sea of the western capital of Beirut, was lit in the colors of the Saudi flag. The rock, one of the most important Lebanese monuments, was lit during a ceremony attended by the charge d'affaires of Saudi Arabia, Waleed bin Abdullah Bukhari, along with a crowd of dignitaries, including the Mayor of Beirut.

In Washington, the Saudi embassy’s National Day bus toured around the capital on the weekend inviting people to its celebrations on Sunday in National Harbor, Maryland.

In the UAE’s capital, the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police decorated 88 of their cars - one for every year being celebrated – with the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the words “Together Forever.”

The UAE’s airlines got in on the game. Emirates operated a special one-off A380 service on the routes EK 813 and EK 814 on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30pm. Crew handed out scarves emblazoned with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers boarding the aircraft.pic.twitter.com/U36yYpxE8T

Etihad said it was using the only Saudi A380 pilot in the world, Wesam Sameer Al Najjar, to fly its Year of Zayed plane to Jeddah with the UAE’s Captain Ahmed Almalood.

In the UAE, children at some schools dressed in green and sang the anthems of both countries, carrying both of their flags. In the evening, there was a Saudi National Day celebration at La Mer beachfront in Dubai that featured a supercar parade, traditional Saudi dancers and, of course, fireworks.