Saudi crown prince to meet with Boeing officials

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will meet with officials from U.S. aerospace company Boeing on Wednesday, FOX Business has learned, which could lead to a multi-billion dollar agreement between the kingdom and the Chicago-based company.

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The meeting will follow the crown prince and his delegation’s visit to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday where the group sat down with President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, departing White House economic adviser Gary Cohn and the president’s adviser Jared Kushner. Trump asked bin Salman about investment and oil prices, and suggested the kingdom would soon invest in the U.S.

“The relationship is probably the strongest it’s ever been,” Trump said Tuesday. “We understand each other. Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation and they’re going to give the United States some of that wealth hopefully, in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world.”

If Saudi Arabia does in fact sign a deal with Boeing, it wouldn’t be the first. Last May, the kingdom agreed to purchase Chinook helicopters, P-8 Poseidon military aircraft – a derivative of Boeing’s Next Generation 737-800, the aircraft is used for long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions – and guided weapons systems. Boeing also said it would enter a joint venture with Saudi Arabia to provide sustainment services for a range of military platforms, supporting the kingdom’s aerospace industry through its Vision 2030. plan, a strategy created to reduce the country’s dependence on oil.

While visiting the United Kingdom earlier this month, the Saudis and the U.K. signed a memorandum of understanding for 48 Typhoon aircraft, built by Britain’s own BAE Systems, as part of its plan to modernize its armed forces and develop industrial capabilities that will help facilitate the delivery of its Vision 2030.

During a trip to Saudi Arabia last year, Trump and his administration announced a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom. However, there hasn’t been a finalized agreement between the countries, according to research group Brookings Institution.

“There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts,” Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow and director of the Intelligence Project, wrote a month after last year’s meeting. “Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts,” he added.

Under the president’s tenure, Boeing has reached several successful deals with other foreign countries, including one with Norway involving the purchase of five P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The company also signed agreements with Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Trump, who owns a Boeing 757, which he used to travel to stops along his presidential campaign, also reached a deal with the airplane maker to lower the cost of the new Air Force One program by more than $1.4 billion last month.

The crown price is also reportedly meeting with officials at Lockheed Martin, however, the company declined to confirm that.

The Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., did not return FOX Business’s request for comment at the time of publication.

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