zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Oct 11, 2017 2:00 AM
The mishap at the Moscow airport on Wednesday when the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz arrived on a historic visit, was a wake-up call that even the most carefully choregraphed enterprises may hold unpleasant surprises.
When Salman exited his plane and stepped out onto the special escalator he travels with, something went wrong. It malfunctioned halfway down, leaving the king standing awkwardly for about 20 seconds before he decided to walk the rest of the way. For ordinary mortals, this wouldn’t have been an uncommon occurrence but divinity ordains when a king is involved.
The Russian-Saudi entente is not going to be smooth. The climactic event last week drawing Saudi Arabia into President Vladimir Putin’s Middle East sphere of influence, must be assessed with a sense of proportions.
Salman had hardly departed from Russian soil when the Pentagon issued a statement announcing that the State Department had on Friday approved a possible US$15-billion sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems to Saudi Arabia.
The statement recalled that Saudi Arabia had requested to purchase from America 44 THAAD launchers, 360 missiles, 16 fire control stations and seven radars.
The US officials confirmed that the sale was part of the $110-billion package of defense equipment and services initially announced during US President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May. The Pentagon statement said, “This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region.”