Trump praises Saudi crown prince over economic ties


Coming mid-way through the Crown Prince's two week tour of the United States, the vote could deliver an "embarrassing rebuke" to the 32-year old heir to the throne as he meets President Donald Trump and other U.S. leaders, says Time.

Trump's focus on Saudi purchases of USA military equipment came amid a bipartisan effort to limit the United States' role in Yemen's civil war and protests in several U.S. cities over the Saudi-led invasion, which has contributed to a humanitarian crisis.

Prince Mohammed's reformist message and the promise of Saudi investment in the United States has endeared him to the neophyte U.S. president - 39 years his elder - and America's own political princeling Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.

But an all-out PR campaign created to burnish the crown prince's image, and declarations that "relations have never been better", mask several problems that could spoil the honeymoon.

A Saudi-led coalition is fighting to counter the influence of Iran, an ally of the Houthi militia in Yemen, in a conflict with catastrophic consequences for civilians.

They also discussed nuclear cooperation.

"I thought your father made a very wise decision".

Trump, touching on the sensitive shaking-out happening inside the kingdom, said "some tremendous things have happened since your last visit to the White House".

He is on a public relations blitz while traveling in the United States, with stops in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston.

Trump, the official said, urged Prince Mohammed to settle the festering battle that pits Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar.

The resolution - which was sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators - went against the wishes of President Donald Trump, who has expressed nothing but enthusiastic support for Saudi Arabia, remaining silent when it the Gulf kingdom's human rights violations and the war in Yemen.

"I would really have to say the relationship was, to put it mildly, the relationship was very, very strained during the Obama administration", Mr. Trump said. King Salman is to visit the United States later this year. He said a 10-year window for implementing the deal was under way.

Protests that erupted on December 28, and have continued throughout various cities in Iran, were directed in large part against the Iranian regime's constant use of money to fund terrorism and wars throughout the Middle East while everyday Iranians are starving and struggling to make ends meet. "The deal is coming up in one month and we'll see what happens". Few details have emerged since about the peace plan, brokered by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, but Saudi political support and financing are seen as critical elements. In addition to being the heir apparent to the Saudi throne, Mohammed is also his country's defense minister.