In an interview with Bloomberg, Saudi Crown Prince underscored that Riyadh “will pay nothing” to Washington for Saudi Arabia’s security.
RIYADH — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has brushed aside US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric that the oil-rich kingdom’s leadership might not last “two weeks” without American military support, saying his country existed decades before the US.
In an interview with Bloomberg, an American news service, Saudi Crown Prince underscored that Riyadh “will pay nothing” to Washington for Saudi Arabia’s security.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman downplayed Trump’s remarks, saying “you have to accept that any friend will say good things and bad things”.
“So you cannot have 100 per cent friends saying good things about you, even in your family. You will have some misunderstandings. So we put that in that category,” he said.
“Ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, we’ve bought everything with money,” he said, adding, “I love working with Trump. I really like working with him.”
Prince Salman’s interview came a day after Trump told a crowd of supporters at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, that Saudi King Salman would not last in power unless the US provided military support for the kingdom.
“We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they’re rich? And I love the King, King Salman. But I said, King we’re protecting you; you might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military”, Trump said.
On Saturday, Trump said at a rally in West Virginia that although the Saudis had got trillions of dollars, ‘we don’t get what we should be getting from them’. He also stressed that with the support of Washington, Saudi Arabia was totally safe, but without US, who knew what’s going to happen.
Pressed on how he would regard Trump’s humiliating rhetoric against Saudi Arabia, the crown prince described the controversial remarks as a “bad issue” offset by “99 per cent of good things.”
He added, “Saudi Arabia was there before the United States of America. It’s there since 1744, I believe more than 30 years before the United States of America.”
“I believe, I’ m sorry if anyone misunderstands that, but I believe President (Barack) Obama, in his eight years, he worked against many of our agenda not (only) in Saudi Arabia, but also in the Middle East. And even though the US worked against our agenda we were able to protect our interests. And the end result is that we succeeded, and the United States of America under the leadership of President Obama failed, for example in Egypt. So Saudi Arabia needs something like around 2,000 years to maybe face some dangers,” said Crown Prince.
The 33-year-old crown prince went on to say that Saudi Arabia had agreed to buy $110 billion worth of US weapons and signed investment deals worth billions more, some $400 billion in total, since Trump took office in early 2017, and described the deals as a good achievement.
“Also included in these agreements are that part of these armaments will be manufactured in Saudi Arabia, so it will create jobs in America and Saudi Arabia, good trade, good benefits for both countries and also good economic growth. Plus, it will help our security.” — Agencies