Jared Kushner personally intervened in Saudi arms deal: Report

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Friday, 19 May 2017

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner personally intervened on a recent arms deal with Saudi Arabia ahead of Trump’s visit to the kingdom this week, said a report.

According to a report by The New York Times on Thursday, Kushner jumped to the Saudis’ assistance when it became clear that the cost of a sophisticated radar system, THAAD, might be an issue.

The negotiations were on a $100 billion-plus weapons deal which the White House hoped to reach with Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

White House officials said Kushner made a phone call during the meeting with Lockheed Martin’s CEO, Marillyn Hewson, asking her to provide a discount for the radar system, similar to the one the US has already deployed to South Korea.

The deals are the latest in a series of controversial arms sales by the Trump administration to governments with poor human rights records, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company.

Trump heads to Saudi Arabia on Friday. The kingdom is keen to reset relations with Washington, which became strained under the Barack Obama administration.

“Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the two holiest sites in Islam, and it is there that we will begin to construct a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies, to combat extremism, terrorism and violence,” Trump said then.

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