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Trump asks KSA to pay for military support, allots billions to Israel

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Eng271WASHINGTON (PNIC):-President Donald Trump has complained that the US is “subsidizing” the military of Middle East ally Saudi Arabia at the same time as his administration announced the launch of a campaign to shell out $38 billion in military aid for Israel.

Speaking at a West Virginia rally for local candidates of his Republican Party on Saturday, Trump said: “When you have wealthy countries like Saudi Arabia, like Japan, like South Korea, why are we subsidizing their military?”

“They’ll pay us. The problem is nobody ever asks.”

He added that he had spoken to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Saturday to make the same point.

Saudi Arabia and Japan are major buyers of US-made weaponry, and the US provides intelligence and aerial refueling support to a Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen.

At the same time, the US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Tuesday: “As we enter the new fiscal year, the ten-year period of the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the United States and Israel in 2016 begins.”

“Under the terms of the MOU, the United States will set funding for Israel at levels of $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing and $500 million for cooperative programs for missile defense over each of the next ten years, a significant increase enabling Israel to acquire additional advanced military capabilities from the United States that will, over time, enhance Israel’s security and strengthen our bilateral relationship,” added Nauert.

“Our implementation of this historic MOU reflects the enduring and unshakable commitment of the President, this Administration, and the American people to Israel's security,” she stated. “Israel is a valuable and capable ally to the United States that today faces dangerously escalating regional threats, first and foremost from the Iranian regime's sponsorship of terrorist groups seeking to attack not only Israel but also American interests.”

“Israel is also threatened by the reckless proliferation of destabilizing weapons systems into the region that increase the possibility of an escalated conflict in an already dangerous and volatile theater”, she claimed. “The United States unconditionally affirms Israel's right to self-defense, and this MOU is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to Israel's capacity to defend itself with a qualitative military edge over all potential regional adversaries.”

 
 
 
 
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