Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Trump to give speech on Islamic faith in Saudi Arabia

Trump to give speech on Islamic faith in Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump will travel to four countries over eight days for his first foreign trip as president.

"The speech is meant to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America's commitment to our Muslim partners", McMaster said.

Trump will "participate in the inauguration of a new center meant to fight radicalism and promote moderation".

McMaster said that after a day of talks with Saudi King Salman and his crown prince, Trump would meet with leaders from across the Muslim world and would help open a center to de-radicalize extremists.

Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran is not invited.

Trump flies Friday to the Gulf kingdom as the first stop on his first overseas trip since inauguration.

Beneath the pomp, Riyadh will be looking for assurances that the Trump administration will continue its notably harsher tone toward Iran and keep up pressure, through both rhetoric and action, to stop what Saudi Arabia sees as Tehran's destabilizing activities in the region.

Saudi leaders felt Obama was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and was tilting toward Shiite-dominated Iran.

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Briefing reporters about Trump's agenda today at the White House, McMaster lauded it as a "historic trip".

Trump plans to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and say a prayer at the Western Wall, unaccompanied by any Israeli leaders.

On the same day, Trump is meeting Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem on the West Bank where McMaster said the president wants to continue pursuit of an agreement that ends the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

"Throughout the summit, he will meet bilaterally with leaders, including the Italian prime minister".

"As we bring the world together to confront violent extremist ideology, so too are we working in partnership with our American and Islamic allies to improve the lives of our people and strengthen our collective economies", the website stated.

Trump also departed from decades of US diplomatic policy in February, saying that he was fine with a one-state solution.

Trump has pushed United States allies to do more to shoulder defence burdens and is expected to call on the members of the alliance to meet their goals of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence and to focus on counter-terrorism efforts.

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