Washington, DC - Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, will travel to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and Belgium July 10-20.
In Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Kaidanow will meet with senior officials for discussions on defense trade issues. Saudi Arabia is currently the largest purchaser of U.S. military equipment through Foreign Military Sales, as well a major customer for direct commercial defense sales, both overseen by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. With over $114 billion in active sales, and as demonstrated by our May 2017 $110 billion bilateral agreement in pursuit of Saudi Armed Forces modernization, the United States is committed to providing Saudi Arabia with the equipment, training, and follow-on support necessary to defend itself and the region, against terrorism, malign Iranian influence, and other threats.
In the United Kingdom, Ambassador Kaidanow will join a delegation of senior U.S. government officials at the Farnborough Air Show, where she will hold consultations on defense trade issues and discuss ways to bolster U.S. defense trade with representatives of some of the 350 U.S. companies and trade organizations exhibiting the latest aerospace technologies. Ambassador Kaidanow will also meet with senior civilian and military officials from partner countries in attendance. She will discuss the steps the Administration is taking to strengthen U.S. allies and partners through improvements to U.S. defense trade regulation and government advocacy to expand opportunities for U.S. industry, drive innovation, and expand American manufacturing jobs.
In Belgium, Ambassador Kaidanow will meet with senior officials to discuss a wide range of security and defense trade issues, as well as consult with U.S. officials at the U.S. Mission to NATO and the U.S. Mission to the European Union. Security assistance efforts overseen by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs contribute toward building key military capabilities for NATO Allies that are essential to address global security challenges; transatlantic defense trade promotes modernization and enhances the military strength of the Alliance by enabling NATO members to meet their commitments under the Wales Defense Investment Pledge.