Saudi FM says U.S. policy won't affect cooperation with Russian Federation

Frederick Owens
October 10, 2017

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that talks with Riyadh about buying its S-400 air-defense system were going well despite Saudi Arabia's THAAD order with the U.S.

The approval has now opened the way for Saudi Arabia's purchasing of the 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers and 360 missiles, as well as fire control stations and radar, says a report in Reuters.

U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia has come under increased scrutiny as a Saudi-led coalition is involved in military intervention in Yemen.

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in an October 6 statement that it had notified the U.S. Congress about the possible sale, saying the deal would "support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States".

"We will not let anyone spread the ideology of hatred, to finance that kind of ideology or terrorism", he said.

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The THAAD - which has already been supplied to Saudi Arabia's neighbors Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - is one of the most capable defensive missile batteries in the U.S. arsenal and comes equipped with an advanced radar system.

The United States deployed THAAD to South Korea this year to guard against North Korea's shorter-range missiles.

USA military sales to Saudi Arabia have come under increased scrutiny over the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen and the situation with Qatar.

The State Department said it would advise Congress that, in Saudi hands, the system would act to stabilize the situation in the Gulf and help defend USA forces in the region and their allies, who face a growing Iranian missile capability.

DSCA noted that adopting THAAD weapons will help increase Saudi Arabia's capacity to defend against potential ballistic missiles and other regional threats.

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