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    Saudi Arabia Believes US Will Come to Help Riyadh Resolve its Issues in Mideast

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    On May 21, United States President Donald Trump will hold a meeting with leaders of Arab and Muslim countries in Riyadh.

    Wahid Hamza Hashim, political science professor at the Jeddah-based King Abdulaziz University, told Sputnik Arabic that it is no surprise that Trump will visit Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip. According to the expert, this is indicative of the exceptional importance of Washington-Riyadh bilateral ties.

    Since the end of World War II, the US and Saudi Arabia have developed military, economic, political and even cultural strategic relations. The upcoming visit is expected to overcome the differences that emerged during Barack Obama’s presidency, according to Wahid Hashim.

    He said that Trump’s visit would emphasize the special role Saudi Arabia has played in US foreign policy. The expert also suggested that the Iranian nuclear program and its consequences for the situation in the region would be discussed.

    "Daesh will dominate the agenda of the upcoming talks. Among other issues is the situation in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Palestine. Cooperation and joint forces are needed in those regions," Wahid Hashim said.

    He continued: "Foreign policy of the Republicans is focused on observing US national strategic interests and these interests coincide with the interests of key players in the Gulf."

    According to the expert, the current steps by Washington reflect its interest to the regional challenges and will have an impact on the situation in the region and thus US interests.

    He added that for Riyadh it is important to resolve the crisis in Yemen. Wahid Hashim expressed hope that Trump’s visit would have a positive impact on the situation.

    Before becoming US President, Trump made a series of harsh remarks about the Gulf monarchy, including accusing a Saudi prince of wanting to "control US politicians with daddy’s money." He also accused Riyadh of sponsoring terrorism and once said that the kingdom would not exist without assistance from the US. However, now Trump is expected to reinstate the longtime US-Saudi alliance.

    In particular, Trump is reportedly expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia with a package of weapons deals totaling over $100 billion. A White House official told Reuters that the deal would include ships, missile defense systems and maritime security systems. In March, the Trump administration overturned a decision made during Obama’s presidency to halt some sales of weapons because of the Yemeni conflict.

    According to RT, good relations with Saudi Arabia have always been good for the US establishment, since many prominent lobbying groups in the US receive money from Riyadh to promote Saudi interests.

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