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U.S. State Department approves potential $500 million Saudi maintenance deal By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Helicopters are seen flying in formation in preparation for September 17th’s Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – – The U.S. State Department has approved a potential agreement covering up to $500 million in military support services for Saudi Arabia, and has sent the agreement to Congress for review, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

This was the first significant defense agreement that Saudi Arabia has sent to Congress since January 20, when President Joe Biden assumed office. This agreement comes following criticisms of U.S. ties with the kingdom for its human rights record, and participation in civil war in Yemen.

It would continue maintenance support services to a variety of helicopters, which includes a fleet of CH47D Chinook helicopters. According to the announcement, it was unknown who the vendor would be.

The State Department stated that the sale would support U.S. foreign policies and national security goals by improving the security of a friend country, which continues to play an important role in political stability in the Middle East.

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