Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Trump to wing overseas, with controversy trailing in his wake


While Washington digs into why President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and what a new special counsel at the Justice Department will try to learn about Trump associates and Russian Federation, the president is jetting off. Trump will try to leave his troubles behind him tomorrow as he departs on the first foreign trip of his presidency.

The Obama administration invested years on a high-stakes gamble to negotiate a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program in return for easing global economic sanctions.

Although the Trump administration waived those sanctions again this week, as required by Congress to keep the nuclear accord intact, it added a new raft of penalties aimed at Tehran's ballistic missile program, which is not covered under the deal. Although Trump didn't explicitly endorse his opponent Marine Le Pen, he clearly had an affinity for her nationalist ideas and she an affinity for his.

Trump also will visit the West Bank and is expected to again tout his efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

President Trump is expected to participate in a signing ceremony of "several agreements that will further solidify U.S. -Saudi security and economic cooperation".

"At least I can say that I went", Trump told The New York Times a year ago. Though, according to a USA official, there are no tweaks or changes to the schedule to accommodate that. The cost could reach a staggering $100 billion. But if the president is looking for a reprieve, recent history indicates he might be disappointed.

Washington provides intelligence as well as aerial refuelling and bombs to the coalition, but former president Barack Obama's administration in December blocked a sale of precision-guided weapons to Saudi Arabia because of concerns over civilian casualties in Yemen.

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son promised Trump in December that he would invest $50 billion into the US, telling the Wall Street Journal later that the money would come from the new SoftBank-Saudi fund.

Antarctica Greening Up as Climate Change Takes Hold
It occurred both at the tip of the peninsula and further inland where it is colder. Less than 1 percent of present-day Antarctica features plant life.

Rounding out the weekend's events is a U.S. -Saudi business forum with CEOs from companies like GE and Dow Chemical, as well as Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company Aramco.

But several of Trump's top advisers want to tilt USA policy in the Arab world back toward Sunni power, led by the Saudis, as a counterweight to Shiite Iran.

A series of deadly shootings and bombings against foreigners and Saudi security forces that began in 2003 turned Riyadh into a loyal and robust partner in the fight against Al-Qaeda, with Mohammed bin Nayef, now the kingdom's crown prince, well-regarded by USA officials for his role overseeing a crackdown on the militants. There is huge pressure on his advance teams of young, inexperienced staffers who negotiate the stagecraft of Trump's encounters with foreign leaders and prepare agendas of meetings.

"Symbols are important and it's a strong message sending to others who are watching", said Dr. David, "A visit by the American President who goes to the Western wall sends a symbol that it is a part of Israel, so for that matter it is important for him to visit".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described it today as being about uniting people of faith.

"We look forward to getting this whole situation behind us", Mr Trump told a White House news conference before setting off.

White House officials said he'll reassert American leadership during the tour of three religious capitals in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome before sitting down with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels and G7 counterparts in Sicily.

"We will work with our allies, particularly USA, to see that Iran is made to act like a normal country". The US says the programme is a breach of worldwide law because the missiles could carry nuclear warheads in the future. "We see them doubling down in Syria".

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