Trump, Muhammad agree on new Saudi-US initiatives

US President Donald Trump and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, take their seats for lunch in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday. — Reuters

WASHINGTON — Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, and US President Donald Trump discussed the development of a new Saudi-US program with initiatives including infrastructure and energy worth potentially more than $200 billion in investment, the White House said on Wednesday.

The announcement of a “Saudi-US program” comes after Trump hosted a private lunch for Prince Muhammad on Tuesday.

The two leaders also agreed to continue consultations on energy to ensure global economic growth and to limit “supply disruption and volatility.”
The two leaders directed their teams to explore additional steps across a broad range of political, military, security, economic, cultural, and social dimensions to further strengthen and elevate the Saudi-US strategic relationship for the benefit of both countries.

US and Saudi officials intend to consult on additional steps to deepen commercial ties and promote investment, and to expand cooperation in the energy sector.

The US President and the Deputy Crown Prince noted the importance of confronting Iran’s destabilizing regional activities while continuing to evaluate and strictly enforce the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

President Trump expressed his strong desire to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to continue the two countries’ consultations to help reach solutions for regional issues.

More broadly, President Trump and Prince Muhammad noted the ongoing security and military cooperation between the two countries in confronting Daesh and other transnational terrorist organizations that pose a threat to all nations.

The US and Saudi Arabia also announced their determination to strengthen their cooperation in the economic, commercial, investment, and energy fields, with the aim of realizing growth and prosperity in the two countries and the global economy.

The two countries highlighted that expanded economic cooperation could create as many as one million direct American jobs within the next four years, millions of indirect American jobs, as well as jobs in Saudi Arabia.

The Deputy Crown Prince reviewed Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program for the President and agreed to put in place specific bilateral programs to help both countries benefit from new opportunities created by the Kingdom’s implementation of those new economic plans.