US President Donald Trump approved on Friday the deployment of more American troops to boost Saudi Arabia’s air defense systems after the devastating attacks that nearly halved the kingdom’s oil facilities’ output.
The Pentagon stated that the soldiers sent would not ‘number in thousands’ and act ‘primarily in defensive nature.’ The US was also to ship anti-missile batteries, drones and even more fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Washington aimed to avoid war with Iran. “Our mission set is to avoid war,” Pompeo said. “You saw what Secretary Esper announced on Friday, we are putting additional forces in the region for the purpose of deterrence and defense,” he said.
Iran Central Bank Sanctioned
Washington, in the meantime, put more sanctions on Iran, targeting the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) this time with accusations of ‘sponsoring terrorism.’ CBI is the first central bank to have ever been sanctioned.
Oil Tanker to be Released
Meanwhile, Iranian officials told the country’s semi-official Fars news agency that Stena Impero, the British-flagged oil vessel they detained in late July was be released soon.
Johnson’s UNGA Meetings
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Monday against any big hopes for a Brexit breakthrough at the talks he will be held with European Union leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York.
Johnson is set to sit down with several EU leaders at the UNGA, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and European Council President Donald Tusk.
Labour at Crossroads
The opposition Labour Party is scheduled on Monday to decide whether it should campaign to remain in the EU at a second referendum or wait until the potential snap election to clarify its position.
Thomas Cook Collapses
UK’s Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest holiday firm, collapsed on Monday, stranding more than 150 thousand British travelers abroad around the globe and leaving over 22 thousand people unemployed.
PM Johnson said his government will repatriate all citizens stranded abroad due to Thomas Cook’s collapse in two weeks’ time.
Chinese Officials Calm Markets After Farm Visit Cancellation
Chinese officials told the state-backed media that they did not cancel their planned trips to farms in the US because of obstacles in the trade talks. The news agency Yicai quoted officials praising last week’s low-level talks that pave way for next month’s high-level negotiations.
Chinese officials on Friday canceled the visit to farms in the US states of Montana and Nebraska scheduled for this week. The Chinese side said the farm trips were planned separately from the trade talks, adding that the US was to send another invitation.