The Trump has eased satellite technology restrictions that had been placed on Saudi Arabia and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
It is believed that the Washington, DC, discussions between the U.S. and the Saudis saw agreements on U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and also on common approaches towards containing Iran. Of particular significance, however, is the agreement by the U.S. to lift export restrictions on strategic technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles and reconnaissance satellites to Saudi Arabia, and potentially to other GCC countries.
It is believed that Saudi Arabia is in the market for two to eight high-resolution reconnaissance satellites over the coming years, and it is known that French companies Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space have partnered together to offer electro-optical reconnaissance satellites similar to the Falcon Eye satellites being built for the United Arab Emirates.
This change will also benefit U.S. satellite makers, giving them a better chance at winning Saudi contracts. At the same time, it makes available to these Middle East Islamic nations some high level technology that could be used against us.
Update: While his administration has quietly widened cooperation with Saudi Arabia, President Trump is publicly complaining that the Arab country takes advantage of the U.S.
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