$1 Billion Worth of Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Approved by Washington

US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have debated the situation in war-torn Yemen during a gathering

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has said his country is now in a "process of change, a phase of seizing opportunities".

"It is an honor to have the crown prince of Saudi Arabia with us", Trump said as the pair prepared to have lunch in the Cabinet Room.

South African fashion designer Haroun Hansrot said South Africa was different from Saudi Arabia in that South African Muslim women were more liberal in their dress.

The decision comes just as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins his United States tour, two days after he was pictured shaking hands with President Donald Trump.

"The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) missiles for an estimated cost of $670 million", the first release said.

Some critics of the kingdom have raised concerns about arms sales to Riyadh as its forces remain involved in Yemen's three-year civil war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

"As you discussed with President (Donald) Trump on Tuesday, we must also reinvigorate urgent efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Yemen and we support you in this regard", the United States defense secretary told his Saudi counterpart.

"But this has not deterred the U.S., the United Kingdom and other states, including France, Spain and Italy, from continuing transfers of billions of dollars' worth of such arms", said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's Middle East research director.

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The department said it has notified the US Congress about the planned sale.

"There is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians", said Lynn Maalouf, head of Middle East research at Amnesty.

"We are going to end this war; that is the bottom line".

The rights group documented violations of global law by all warring parties, including the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

During Senate debate before the vote, some backers called the three-year-long conflict in Yemen a humanitarian catastrophe, which they blamed on the Saudis.

Overall, Amnesty said it had documented 36 Saudi-led coalition attacks in which 513 civilians were killed, "many of which may amount to war crimes".

The coalition used a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb, weighing 500 pounds, manufactured in the USA by Lockheed, according to Amnesty.

But the most delicate discussions could be about Saudi Arabia's nuclear program, which is mooted as civilian-focused but could quickly become a platform for building a weapon. At least 157 of those killed were children and another 379 were wounded, AI reports.

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