JEDDAH: The US State Department has approved the potential sale of Patriot missiles and related equipment to Saudi Arabia in a deal valued at up to $3.05 billion, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The potential sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system missiles, THAAD fire control and communication stations, and related equipment to the UAE in a deal valued at up to $2.25 billion, has also been approved, the Pentagon added.
In a joint communique issued after US President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month, it was reiterated that the “US-Saudi partnership has been a cornerstone of regional security over decades, and affirmed that the two countries share a vision of a more secure, stable, and prosperous region, interconnected with the world.”
“The proposed sale will improve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by replenishing its dwindling stock of PATRIOT GEM-T missiles,” the State Department said in its notice informing Congress of the sale.
“These missiles are used to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s borders against persistent Houthi cross-border unmanned aerial system and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia,” the department said.
For UAE, the department said the sale would “support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner. The UAE is a vital US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”
Biden strongly affirmed Washington’s continued commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defense, and facilitating the Kingdom’s ability to obtain necessary capabilities to defend its people and territory against external threats.
The two sides underscored the need to further deter Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of other countries, its support for terrorism through its armed proxies, and its efforts to destabilize the security and stability of the region.
Saudi Arabia and the US stressed the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.