Donald Trump may halt US oil purchases from Saudi Arabia - NYT

Trump on the campaign trail in Florida on March 14, 2016.
Trump on the campaign trail in Florida on March 14, 2016.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump told the New York Times he would consider stopping US oil purchases from Saudi Arabia unless the Saudi government provides troops to fight Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

Trump's comment on Friday was included in a lengthy foreign policy interview published by the newspaper on Saturday and came in response to a question about whether, if elected president, he would halt oil purchases from US allies unless they provided on-the-ground forces against ISIS.

"The answer is, probably yes," Trump said, according to a transcript.

Trump has said the US should be reimbursed by the countries to which it provides protection, even those with vast resources such as Saudi Arabia, a top oil exporter.

"And yet, without us, Saudi Arabia wouldn't exist for very long," Trump told the Times.

“...We’re not being reimbursed for the kind of tremendous service that we’re performing by protecting various countries. Now Saudi Arabia’s one of them.” 

Trump also named in the interview retired Major-General Gary Harrell, Major-General Bert Mizusawa and retired Rear-Admiral Charles Kubic as additional foreign policy advisers to the five named earlier this week who were criticised as obscure.

Trump has faced questions about his reluctance to reveal who was advising his campaign.

He told the Times he was willing to rethink traditional US alliances should he become president.