Donald Trump trying to push through multi-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia despite human rights concerns

    $11.5bn (£8.86bn) package made up of four multi-mission surface combatant ships.
    The US is trying to push through a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh, a report has revealed. 
    The President is set to visit the Vatican, Israel and Saudi Arabia this month, as part of his maiden international trip. 
    Mr Trump's administration is keen to repair the relationship with the regional power following tensions caused by the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. 
    The arms sales contracts are likely to comprise of Lockheed Martin Co program packages with a Terminal Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system worth $1bn (£770 million), a C2BMC software system, and a package with satellite capabilities. 
    Provided by BAE Systems PLC, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and an M109 artillery vehicle are also under consideration as part of the deal. 
    In addition, an $11.5bn (£8.86bn) package made up of four multi-mission surface combatant ships, which had been approved by the US state department in 2015 but never made it to final contract, will also be revisited.
    If this deal goes through, it will be the first sale of a small surface warship to a foreign power in decades. 
    Two US officials told Reuters that a US-Saudi working group met on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the details of the trip, including financing for military equipment. 
    Additionally, there will be $1bn (£770 million) worth of munitions, including armour-piercing Penetrator Warheads and Paveway laser-guided bombs. These contracts had been suspended by the Obama administration because of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, which caused the deaths of thousands of civilians.
    A US official told The Washington Times that the deal which was halted under former president Obama is ready for clearance. 
    All major US weapons sales are subject to congressional review. 
    Human Rights organisation Amnesty International said Donald Trump could be complicit in war crimes, and urged the US president not to approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

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