US, Saudi Arabia look to reset their ties with Trump’s maiden visit

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WASHINGTON, May 19 (APP) The United States and Saudi Arabia expect to start a more robust relationship with shared commitment to fight Islamic State, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups as President Trump picks the kingdom for a debut foreign trip to emphasize US commitment to the Middle East.
President Trump is expected to receive a warm welcome by the Saudi royal family , according to a report by Los Angeles Times.
Unlike many recent presidents, who chose Canada or Mexico for their inaugural foreign sojourn, Trump’s pick of Saudi Arabia shows his desire to “return the US strategic focus to the Middle East”, the report said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubier said ahead of Trump’s arrival that this visit would be considered as a “crucial turning point in opening relations between the Arab world and the West.”
President Trump is expected to stress shared commitment to fight terrorist groups such as Islamic State, al Qaeda and other militant networks, and offer a major new package of weapon sales to Saudis, the report said.
The report citing unnamed Saudi officials said that the US is mulling sale of precision guide bombs, howitzer artillery pieces, and the sophisticated antimissile system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, a package worth about $100 billion.
Saudi officials said that the Pentagon has already resumed sharing certain intelligence, including satellite imagery, with the Saudi military.
Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia soured under the Obama administration which had cut back cooperation with the Saudi-led military coalition. “But several of Trump’s top advisors want to tilt U.S. policy in the Arab world,” the report said.
Trump’s second stopover during more than weeklong foreign trip will be Israel and the report said.