Pompeo nudges Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel

US supports 'robust' program of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, says Pompeo

US supports 'robust' program of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, says Pompeo

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the USA remains committed to fulfilling its arms sales deal with Saudi Arabia as part of an effort to deter Iran.

"This historic agreement. will bring us closer to other countries in the region to sign other peace agreements", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "In the end, the only thing that can deliver lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis", Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said in a virtual appearance at a USA think tank.

"We hope Saudi Arabia will consider normalizing its relationships as well".

Speaking to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank, the Saudi foreign minister also said he hoped it may soon be possible to resolve a dispute that led Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to sever political, trade and transport ties with Qatar in mid-2017.

Pompeo said the United States "supports a robust program of arms sales to Saudi Arabia", saying it would help "protect its citizens and sustains American jobs".

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During closed-door talks with the European Union on Monday, Farhan Al-Saud affirmed that there would be no recognition of Israel from Saudi Arabia without a return to Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The secretary also announced the U.S.is acquiring a 26-acre site for a new embassy in Riyadh.

The State Department's Office of the Inspector General has said that U.S. officials did not fully assess the risks that the weapons would pose to civilians, particularly in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia leads an Arab alliance that has been conducting deadly air raids on Houthi rebels.

Alongside work on USA missions in Jeddah and Dhahran, the United States is spending more than $1 billion on diplomatic construction in the kingdom, Pompeo said.

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