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US State Department approves $750 million Saudi training program sale

U.S. lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare.
Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21. Photo: Reuters

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of $750 million worth of military training and support to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Monday, part of a $110 billion arms deal U.S. President Donald Trump sealed with the kingdom in May.

The sale would include continuing a "blanket order training program" inside and outside of Saudi Arabia for the Royal Saudi Air Force and other Saudi forces, the Pentagon said on its website.

Elements include flight training, professional military education, and English language training, the agency said.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which implements foreign arms sales, said it delivered on Friday the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

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U.S. lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare.

The Pentagon said the training would include how to avoid civilian casualties, the law of armed conflict, human rights command and control.

Trump sealed the arms deal with Saudi Arabia on May 20, during a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe.

The United States has been the main supplier for most Saudi military needs in recent years, from F-15 fighter jets to command and control systems worth tens of billions of dollars.

Washington and Riyadh are eager to improve relations strained during President Barack Obama's administration in part because of his championing of a nuclear deal with Saudi foe Iran.

 
 
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