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Saudi foreign minister: US-Saudi alliance will ‘drain the swamp’ of extremism

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Saturday said his country’s alliance with the Trump administration would help “drain the swamp” of extremism.

The expression is a familiar one in the U.S. due to President Trump’s common use of it in reference to the Washington political establishment. Trump uses it as a call to reform.

Saudi Arabia’s Adel al-Jubeir called for an end to “enmity” between the West and the Islamic World, saying that by doing so “we will have drained the swamp” of incubating terrorism. 

“If we can change the conversation in the Islamic world from enmity towards the U.S. to partnership with the U.S. and if we can change the conversation in the U.S. and in the West from enmity towards the Islamic world to one of partnership…we will have drained the swamp from which extremism and terrorism emanates,” Adel al-Jubeir said at a joint news conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Riyadh. 

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Al-Jubeir’s comments came after Trump signed a roughly $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia during his first trip abroad as president. The visit to Riyadh is the first stop in a nine-day trip across five countries, and is aimed at reaffirming the U.S.-Saudi alliance after a more rocky relationship under the Obama administration.

Tillerson said at the news conference that the arms sale would ultimately lessen the United States’ burden of fighting militant groups in the Middle East, while allowing Saudi Arabia to bolster and modernize its military capabilities.

“This huge arm sales package reduces the burden on the United States to provide the same equipment to our own military forces,” Tillerson said. “It lowers demand on our own military, but it also lowers the cost to our own people.”

 

Tags Donald Trump Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
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