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US to sell $20bn arms to Saudi Arabia

31 July, 2007

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The proposed deals would include sales of a variety of sophisticated weaponry [AP]

The United States is planning a series of arms deals worth at least $20bn with Saudi Arabia and five other Gulf states, US newspapers are reporting.

The New York Times and The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Bush administration was preparing to ask congress to approve the arms sales over the next decade.

Five other oil-rich Gulf States - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE - are likely to receive equipment and weaponry from the arms sales.

Israel and Egypt are also to benefit from military aid, the newspapers said.

The state department and the White House made no comment.

Unnamed state department and Pentagon officials were quoted as saying the military assistance would provide $30bn in new US aid to Israel and $13bn to Egypt over 10 years.

The arms deals, said to be the largest negotiated by this administration, would include the sale of sophisticated weaponry.

Officials said the sales to Saudi Arabia were expected to include air-to-air missiles as well as joint direct attack munitions, which turn standard bombs into "smart" precision-guided bombs, the reports said.

The deals are designed to support US allies in the Middle East as a counterweight to regional power Iran.

The reports said the common goal of the military aid packages and arms sales is to strengthen pro-Western countries at a time when Iran seeks to extend its power in the region.

One official was quoted as saying: "This is a big development, because it's part of a larger regional strategy and the maintenance of a strong US presence in the region.

"We're paying attention to the needs of our allies and what everyone in the region believes is a flexing of muscles by a more aggressive Iran. One way to deal with that is to make our allies and friends strong."

Bearing on Iraq

The New York Times also reported that the timing of the plan was creating concern within Israel. Some US officials say the Saudi government is not helping the situation in Iraq, and is supporting Sunni fighters against the Shia leadership there.

Officials said such concerns had been sidestepped as the Bush administration was also offering massive military aid to Israel.

Administration officials remain concerned, however, that the package could draw opposition from some in congress who are critical of the Saudi government.

Assurances from the Saudis about being more supportive in Iraq were not sought by the administration as part of the deal.

The administration's plans will be announced on Monday before Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, and Robert Gates, the defence secretary, travel to the Middle East.

State Department and Pentagon officials had started briefing members of congress about their intentions over the past week, the newspapers also reported.

 Courtesy: Aljazeera

Reader Comments:

Mixing oil with fire

SELLING MEGA QUANTITIES OF VERY HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED EQUIPMENT MAY NOT BE THAT ALARMING IF IT IS DONE OUT OF THE AREA THAT IS THE LIFELINE OF GLOBAL OIL SUPPLIES.EVEN ISRRAEL HAS NOT OBJECTED WITH THE FALSE FEELINGS THAT IT WILL BE USED AGAINST IRAN.

INSTEAD, THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DE-ESCALLATION OF INFILTRATION OF DEADLY WEAPONARY INTO MIDDLE EAST.

THE POLITICAL ADMINISTRATIONS OF US HAVE GONE REALLY NUTS NOT ON THE REASON OF ANY POLITICAL DEIGNING. THIS IS HIGHLY STUPID ACT AND IS CLEAR RECIPE OF ENERGY RELATED FINANCIAL SUICIDE OF THE WHOLE WORLD.

YOU SET THE WORLD'S LIFELINE OF ENERGY ON FIRE AND THEN YOU CAN SURE WATCH THE WORLD FINANCE AFLAME AND IRREVERSIBLE DEATH OF GLOBAL ECONOMIES.

THE AMERICANS CAN SEE THE DEPENDENCE ON CAR OF EVERY ADULT MALE AND FEMALE. EVERY BODY DRIVES ENDLESSLY AND INNORTH AMERICA THEY SIT IN THE CAR SO MUCH THAT ONE QUARTER OF ALL FAT AND OVER WEIGHT PEOPLE ARE IN AMERICA AND CANADA.

IN NORTH AMERICA, YOU CAN'T EVEN EXIST WITHOUT A CAR AND YOU DRIVE THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR CAR WITHIN NO TIME. WE ALL NOTE THAT DURING TRAFFIC HOUR OR EVEN WITHOUT.

YOU DEPRIVE NORTH AMERICANS OF PETROL AND THEN YOU SEE THE COLLAPSE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIES. DUMPING THAT MEGA QUANTITIES OF MILITARY HARDWARE IN MIDDLE EAST IN THE PERSIAN GULF AREA IS A SURE RECIPE OF FINANCIAL SUICIDE OF THE WHOLE WORLD IF THE THINGS GET UGLY.

YOU WILL SEE TOTAL DESTRUCTION AROUND STRAIT OF HARMUZ.YOU CAN KISS GOOD BY TO ABU DHABI, DUBAI, SHARJAH AND AJMAN THAT ARE RIGHT VERY CLOSE TO THE STRAIT. THE TALLEST BUILDINGS IN THE WORLD WILL COME TUMBLING DOWN THERE BESIDES SETTING FIRE TO MOST OIL OF THE WORLD.

I THINK THOSE CHAUVONISTS PLANNING SUCH SILLY WARS FOR THEIR OWN SILLY DEMISE AND THE DEMISE OF ALL OF US NEED THEIR HEADS EXAMINED.

THIS IS AWEFULLY SILLY NEWS AND LET US HOPE THAT THEY WILL REVOKE IT.

DO NOT MIX OIL WITH FIRE.

Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 31 July, 2007

aid

Saudi Arabia should refuse the aid and set an example for the Islamic world

Amir, Pakistan - 01 August, 2007

$20 B US _Saudi Arabia Arm Deal

With $20 Bn arm sales come news about a conference which is intended to revive the peace process and would include Israel, the Palestinians and those few Arab states who are viewed as moderate by the US standard
of thinking.

"We welcome this initiative," said Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

The kingdom has no diplomatic relations with Israel, saying previously it would only establish them at the culmination of an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.

zmb, Hungary - 01 August, 2007

America is robbing Saudi money

Saudi Arabia needs modern democracy and a smooth end of the "kingdom". Kings were a dying breed in Europe, They look like clowns on the stage of theatres. America has accepted Zionism and the Zionists renounced their religion because, as they question "what has God done for us?" They believe in the "Rock of Israel" instead. The Rabbis fear a ruinous strike from heavens on Israel and its fall out on Bush's America. Twenty billion dollars weapons would rot and rust if Saudis buy them. The Rabbis have put the writing on the wall. They have seen the horrors of Hitler's holocaust.

Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 07 August, 2007

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