The US Pentagon said on Thursday it plans a large arms sale to Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates worth $10.8 billion.
The weapons include
bunker-buster bombs and air-launched cruise missiles that can hit targets from a
long distance, AFP reported. The missiles can hit air defense systems from a
safe distance, out of range of anti-aircraft systems.
The weapons will be
used on US-made F- 15 and F-16 fighter jets, according to the US Defense
Security Cooperation Agency.
The Gulf states are very concerned about
Iran and its mission to extend its influence throughout the region. This worry
has only increased as Iran gets ever closer to attaining nuclear
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was elected to a two-year term on the UN
Security Council along with Chad, Nigeria, Chile and Lithuania.
elected by the 193-member UN General Assembly on Thursday.
Chad, and Lithuania will be on the council for the first time.
replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo on the 15- member
Security Council on January 1. All five countries were elected unopposed, but
they still needed approval from two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure
There are five veto-holding permanent members of the council
– the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – and 10 temporary
members without veto power.
Saudi Arabia’s image among Middle Easterners
dropped, according to a survey the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project
released on Thursday.
The favorability rating of the country dropped in
Egypt from 91 percent to 78%, in Lebanon from 82% to 51%, in the Palestinian
territories from 65% to 52%, and in Turkey from 40% to 26%.
countries outside the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is viewed favorably. In
Pakistan, the country has a 95% approval rating and in Indonesia 82%, Senegal
72%, and Malaysia 63%.
Sunnis in Lebanon gave an overwhelming approval
rating of 82%, while only 6% of Shi’ites approve of Saudi Arabia.