ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman dismissed remarks by Donald Trump in which the U.S. president said he had warned the king he would not last in power “for two weeks” without U.S. military backing and demanded he pay up.
“I love working with him. You know, you have to accept that any friend will say good things and bad things,” Prince Mohammed said in a Bloomberg interview published on Friday.
“We believe that all the armaments we have from the United States of America are paid for, it’s not free armament. So ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, we’ve bought everything with money,” Prince Mohammed added.
Trump made the comments at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday. Despite the harsh words, the Trump administration has had a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it views as a bulwark against Iran’s ambitions in the region.
Trump made Saudi Arabia his first stop on his maiden international trip as president last year.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter and the de facto leader of OPEC, which has been criticized by Trump for high oil prices.
Reporting By Stephen Kalin; Editing by Richard Balmforth