WASHINGTON: The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the formal notification for the proposed acquisition of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) equipment, support and services. This USD 15 billion sale is intended for the enhancement of the Kingdom's national security from ballistic missile threats posed by Iran and the Iranian-backed Houthi militia operating in Yemen.
His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman, Ambassador to the United States remarked on the notification saying, "Saudi Arabia is located in a volatile area of the world and millions of our citizens - our families and children - sleep each night and live each day within five minutes range of Iranian and Houthi missiles. It is our government's sacred responsibility to provide for their security."

In recent months, Iran has advanced its ballistic missile programs and has launched ballistic missile tests which are threatening to neighboring countries. In addition, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia has launched more than 76 ballistic missiles into Saudi territory resulting in hundreds of causalities. The Houthis have also launched ballistic missiles targeting Makkah, the holiest site of Islam.

Ambassador Khalid bin Salman further stated, "Saudi Arabia values the long-standing and close partnership with the United States and our mutual commitment to ensuring peace and stability in the region. The THAAD acquisition is another milestone in our strategic alliance, and will further enhance our joint efforts to counter mutual threats."

In addition to THAAD, Saudi Arabia has previously announced plans to purchase $110 billion in new defense equipment from U.S. suppliers to protect its citizens.

(Posted on 17 October 2017, 1675619561 3O239O119O61)