Japan’s richest man and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son will travel to Saudi Arabia and announce the close of the first fundraising round for what will be the world’s biggest private equity fund, backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and Apple Inc., according to a Reuters report.
The expected launch of the $100 billion Vision Fund will be just one of many deals and partnerships announced between U.S. and Saudi government entities and private companies.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia also plan to announce $110 billion in arms and defense deals over the next 10 years. While many of those deals were holdovers from President Obama, the Trump administration is breathing new life into them and using the total figure as a symbol of America’s renewed security commitment to its strongest Gulf ally.
According to a New York Times report, that deal came with a personal touch from senior advisor to President Trump, Jared Kusher, who is also President Trump’s son-in-law. Mr. Kushner reportedly called the CEO of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn A. Hewson, and asked her to consider reducing the cost of a Lockheed-made radar system that can shoot down ballistic missiles in order to get the deal done.
Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia on May 20. He will first meet King Salman in Riyadh for coffee, followed by a royal banquet, before holding bilateral talks with the King, the Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince.
Before having dinner with the Saudi royal family, the President will take part in a signing ceremony on several agreements, which “will further solidify U.S.-Saudi security and economic cooperation” National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster told the press on May 16, according to TIME.
The next day, Trump will hold bilateral meetings with the GCC before having lunch with leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries. Syria and Iran were not invited to the event as they are not part of a Saudi Arabian military alliance, that is being established to fight terrorism. There, Trump will give a speech about radical ideology and Islam, which is being drafted by White House aide Stephen Miller, Politico reports.
According to McMaster, Trump will finish-off his trip by inaugurating a new center to fight radicalism and will participate in a Twitter forum with young people.