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US government approves sale of $500m of military equipment to Saudi

US government approves sale of $500m of military equipment to Saudi

US President Trump signed $110bn of arms deals during a visit to the kingdom in May.

The US State Department approved the sale of $500m of military equipment and services to Saudi Arabia late on Wednesday.

Congress now has 30 days to review the sale under US law but is not required to take action to approve it.

The approval follows a request from the kingdom for the possible purchase of patriot and hawk missile system spare parts and technical assistance and support for the Patriot Legacy Field Surveillance Programme, the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) FSP and the Patriot Engineering Services Programme, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

“This proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East,” the organisation said in a statement.

US President Trump ended a three-month halt of arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year and signed $110bn of arms deals during a visit to the kingdom in May.

Read: Under fire in Washington, Trump receives warm welcome in Saudi

Following this, the State Department approved the sale of more than $1.4bn of radar equipment and training in June and the Pentagon approved the estimated $15bn sale of a THAAD anti-missile defence system in October.

Read: US State Dept approves $1.4bn in military sales to Saudi

Saudi was also reported to have agreed the purchase of about $7bn worth of precision guided munitions from US defence contractors in November.

Read: Saudi Arabia agrees to buy $7bn in precision munitions from US firms – sources

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