UK inks Saudi deal for 48 Typhoon jets

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, arrived in Riyadh on Saturday returning from the United Kingdom where he paid a three-day visit, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Shares in BAE Systems jumped on Friday, spurred by news that Saudi Arabia had signed a provisional agreement with the UK Government to buy 48 Typhoon fighter jets - a much-needed shot in the arm for the defence company. The deal has been under discussion for years but has proven tough to seal.

British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson hailed the development, saying, "The Crown Prince's visit has opened a new chapter in our two countries' historic relationship".

As Britain and Saudi Arabia are building up their bilateral trade and investment cooperation, defense and security cooperation remains one of their top concerns.

Britain credits Saudi intelligence sharing with saving British lives and has licensed billions of pounds of weapons and ammunition sales to Saudi Arabia.

Demonstrators staged a massive protest outside Number 10 Downing Street during the Prince's visit over both countries' role in Yemen in a war which has killed an estimated 10,000 people.

Saudi Arabia plans to acquire a new batch 48 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets in addition to the 72 already acquired.

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A final deal would not resurrect those jobs, the company said, but would provide continuing employment to 5,000 people working on the Typhoons....

During Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman three day visit to the United Kingdom he visited Downing Street, met the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bin Salman's itinerary merely included private meetings with bankers, executives and lawmakers, and he did not speak publicly at any point during the visit.

The planned Aramco public offer is the linchpin of Prince Mohammed's economic program to transform Saudi Arabia, called Vision 2030.

An image of the heir-apparent striding up Downing Street towards May's office was lauded by Saudis on social media as emblematic of his youth, confidence, determination and enthusiasm.

In a cable to HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while wrapping up his UK visit, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed profound thanks and gratitude her for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his accompanying delegation.