$400 billion in opportunities, armaments and investment opportunities between Saudi Arabia and US: Saudi crown prince

Saudi Crown Prince says he loves working with the US president and that a lot has been achieved in the Middle East due to their partnership. (AFP/File)
Updated 06 October 2018
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$400 billion in opportunities, armaments and investment opportunities between Saudi Arabia and US: Saudi crown prince

  • We believe that all the armaments we have from the United States of America are paid for, it’s not free armament: crown prince
  • We have huge investments between both countries. We have good improvement in our trade – a lot of achievements, so this is really great: MBS

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said relations with the US are still strong despite comments by Donald Trump that the Kingdom must pay for American military support.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “Actually we will pay nothing for our security.” The Kingdom pays for all its military equipment from the US, he said:  “We believe that all the armaments we have from the United States of America are paid for, it’s not free armament.”
Since the beginning of Saudi-US relations “we’ve bought everything with money,” the crown prince told a group of Bloomberg reporters on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia changed its military spending strategy after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, with 60% of spending with the US over a decade, the prince said.
“That’s why we’ve created the $400 billion in opportunities, armaments and investment opportunities, and other trade opportunities,” which Prince Mohammed said was a good achievement for both countries.
The various deals, which were signed in 2017 when President Trump made Saudi Arabia his first overseas visit, means that “part of these armaments will be manufactured in Saudi Arabia, so it will create jobs in America and Saudi Arabia, good trade, good benefits for both countries and also good economic growth. Plus, it will help our security,” he said.
“I love working with him. I really like working with him and we have achieved a lot in the Middle East, especially against extremism, extremist ideologies, terrorism and Daesh,” said the crown prince.
President Trump and King Salman launched a global counter terror center in Riyadh during his visit to the country.
Prince Mohammed visited Washington in March where the president hailed the links between the two allies. “The relationship is probably the strongest it’s ever been,” Trump said at a joint press conference.
“We have huge investments between both countries. We have good improvement in our trade – a lot of achievements, so this is really great,” the prince said on Wednesday.
The US-Saudi efforts, along with global partners, have pushed back extremists and terrorists and countered Iran’s “negative moves in the Middle East in a good way,” he told the publication.
On the topic of controlling oil prices, the crown prince said the Kingdom has never “decided that this is the right or wrong oil price. The oil price depends on trade – consumer and supplier – and they decide the oil price based on trade and supply and demand. 
What we are committed in Saudi Arabia is to make sure there is no shortage of supply. So we work with our allies in OPEC and also non-OPEC countries to be sure that we have a sustainable supply of oil and there is no shortage and that there is good demand, that it will not create problems for the consumers and their plans and development,” he said.
Prince Mohammed confirmed that Trump did make a request to Saudi Arabia and OPEC to replace whatever may be lost of supply from Iran. “And that happened.  Because recently, Iran reduced their exports by 700,000 barrels a day, if I’m not mistaken. And Saudi Arabia and OPEC and non-OPEC countries, they’ve produced 1.5 million barrels a day. So we export as much as 2 barrels for any barrel that disappeared from Iran recently. So we did our job and more. We believe the higher price that we have in the last month, it’s not because of Iran. It’s mostly because of things happening in Canada, and Mexico, Libya, Venezuela and other countries that moved the price a little bit higher. But Iran, definitely no. Because they reduced 700,000 barrels and we’ve exported more than 1.5 million barrels a day,” the crown prince said.
When asked about diplomatic issues with Germany and Canada and how that differed from what Trump said, the prince replied: “It’s totally different. Canada, they gave an order to Saudi Arabia on an internal issue. It’s not an opinion of Canada about Saudi Arabia as much as they are giving an order to a different country. So we believe this is a totally different issue. Trump is speaking to his own people inside the United States of America about an issue.”


Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.