Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump hopes to leave scandals behind as he makes first foreign tip

Trump hopes to leave scandals behind as he makes first foreign tip

After visiting Saudi Arabia, Trump will fly to Israel for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then to the Vatican in Rome, where he will seek an audience with Pope Francis before heading to Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, talks with European Union leaders, and then a meeting of the G-7 industrial nations in Sicily. "Saudis would be signing for making Dollars 200 billion of investment in the United States which would create a lot of jobs", said a senior administration official involved in planning of the major presidential trip.

Trump's speech will also have input from his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, McMaster and his deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

"This administration is very clear, not just with Saudi Arabia but also with Turkey and other traditional allies, that the idea is to double down on existing relationships and to put allies first", said Mohammed Khalid Alyahya, a Saudi political analyst and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, a policy research organization.

Trump departs. He's said his pick to replace James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director could be announced before he leaves.

"The notion that the President of the United States is going to go to one of the cultural and religious centers of the region and explain the proper role of Islam in the world in Saudi Arabia, I think really risks setting some off notes", he said.

Trump will hold a separate session with leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss the civil war in Syria and potential "de-escalation zones" to provide safe areas for civilians.

Apart from this, the Arab monarchies are maintaining security cooperation with the United States, he said.

Saudi Arabia is set to establish a state-run arms manufacturing company, which will produce armoured vehicles, radars and ammunition for the kingdom's burgeoning military.

Oil producers' talk of longer cuts spurs optimism
Futures for Brent crude rose by 0.29% to $51.97 per barrel, whereas WTI went up by 0.33% to $49.01 per barrel. Both contracts slid during the session to the lowest since November 30, the day OPEC agreed to cut supply.

In Washington, Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said there is growing bipartisan concern in the Senate about the Trump administration's "unconditional level of support" for the Saudis and their military operations in Yemen.

The appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether there was any collusion between Trump aides and the Kremlin's election hacking effort capped a stunning rush of events unleashed by the President's firing of FBI Director James Comey, who declined Trump's request to shield former national security adviser Michael Flynn in the Russian Federation probe, The New York Times first reported and CNN confirmed.

Trump is scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas during the trip, as well as Pope Francis, when he travels to the Vatican. Don't expect a major announcement about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Almost all of Trump's senior White House officials are traveling with him. "He sees himself as more of a convener and a facilitator and a go-between and not as somebody who's going to dictate terms".

Trump's plans include a prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City. A diplomatic spat emerged after an American official reportedly told the Israelis the site is "not your territory."

Among the invitees is President Omar Hassan Bashir of Sudan, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes, including genocide, although it remains unclear whether he will attend or, if he does, whether he will meet Trump.

IN an unprecedented political event, Riyadh will host three summits on Saturday and Sunday, under the motto "Together We Prevail;" the three summits will be attended by US President Donald Trump, who will kick off his first overseas tour from Riyadh. That afternoon he will speak at the unveiling of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation memorial, where he "will reaffirm America's commitment to the alliance" and repeat his theme that all of its members must share responsibility and burdens, McMaster said.

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