0507 GMT April 19, 2018
“I think its very problematic for President Trump to have gone to this summit in Riyadh which I believe he was actually used by the Saudis to promote their interests,” said Wayne Madsen, an author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.
“What Trump effectively did was declare war on the Shia religion; he aligned himself with these Wahhabist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait [and the] United Arab Emirates,” Madsen said during a phone interview with Press TV on Friday.
“He even said that past problems between the US and Bahrain are over with; we know he’s selling them weapons now,” Madsen added.
Saudi Arabia was the first stop on Trump's first international trip this week. No other US president has made Saudi Arabia their first foreign visit.
Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a "strategic vision" agreement in Riyadh on May 20 to bolster cooperation on military, economics and other areas.
Trump also signed an arms deal worth $110 billion with the Saudis, despite warnings he could be accused of being complicit in the regime’s war crimes in neighboring Yemen.
The $110 billion arms deal signed by Saudi Arabian King Salman and US President Donald Trump last week was a component of $350 billion in economic and military investments between the two countries over the next 10 years, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Less than a year ago on the campaign trail, Trump vilified the Saudi influence on US foreign policy, openly accused the kingdom of being behind the 9/11 terror attacks, and demanded the US be paid for protecting the monarchy.
Experts say Trump’s selection of Saudi Arabia as his first overseas trip signals that he is willing to change his behavior and tone to embrace a country responsible for widespread human rights violations and an escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen.