>> President Donald Trump is heading to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia later this month. And US sources telling Reuters that Washington is working to push through contracts for tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia ahead of his trip. The US has been the main supplier in recent years for most Saudi military needs, worth tens of billions of dollars.
One of the people with knowledge of the sale said that as planning for Trump's trip intensified in recent weeks, so has talks to seal the deals. Some of the contracts being negotiated are new, while others have been in the pipeline. The Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons.
But some planned arms sales were halted in December, with Obama concerned over widespread civilian casualties in Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen. Tensions between the two nations further strained by the former president's championing of the nuclear deal with Iran, a Saudi foe. But now with Trump in office, Washington and Riyadh are eager to hit the reset button.
Two US officials said a US, Saudi working group met at the White House this week to negotiate the trip, as well as financing for military equipment sales and stopping terrorist financing. Trump is taking the unusual step of stopping in Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as president, ditching the customary inaugural visits to neighbors Mexico and Canada.