After Pausing BRICS, Saudi Arabia Signs Deal With US Lockheed Martin

Vinod Dsouza
saudi arabia mbs
Source: Reuters

Saudi Arabia is yet to confirm that it wants to join BRICS and has kept the important decision on hold. It’s been more than a month since Saudi Arabia has kept the decision to join BRICS pending. On the heels of deciding on BRICS, Saudi Arabia moved forward on Monday signing an agreement with the US weapons maker Lockheed Martin. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has directed weapon-producing companies in the country to manufacture parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

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The state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) signed 11 agreements with Lockheed Martin at the Saudi defense show in Riyadh. The contract comes at a time when BRICS is looking to induct Saudi Arabia and push the de-dollarization narrative forward. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is going in the opposite direction paying no heed to the BRICS’ needs.

Apart from SAMI, many other weapons manufacturing firms have received sub-contracts to help build THAAD. Propulsion Company (MEPC) and Arabian International Company (AIC) for Steel have signed the agreement with Lockheed Martin.

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The new contract also comes at a time when there are rising tensions and shipping disruptions in the Red Sea. Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi group has launched drones and missiles at ships carrying cargo in the Red Sea disrupting global trade. The attack, according to them, is a retaliation for Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

Why Has Saudi Arabia Not Accepted BRICS Membership Yet?

Joe Biden Fist Bumps Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Source: CNN

Saudi Arabia is sitting on the fence on BRICS membership providing no details about its decision. The Kingdom does not want to alienate itself from the US and the West at a time when it’s opening up its economy to tourism. Therefore, Saudi is playing it safe by balancing both BRICS and the US to keep trade deals and its economy afloat.

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