Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Melania and Ivanka Trump just caused some controversy in Saudi Arabia


The centerpiece to the president's trip to Saudi Arabia, which was the first stop on an overseas trip that also includes Israel, Italy and Belgium, was a speech about extremist ideology to leaders of 50 Muslim-majority countries.

A senior US official traveling with Trump said Washington understands what he described as Israel's "completely legitimate" concerns and pledged to help the Jewish state maintain its military advantage.

US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi touching a glowing globe to launch the opening of an anti-extremism center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017.

It was in many ways a history of firsts for US President Donald Trump. Drive them out of your communities.

Yuval Steinitz, a senior cabinet member and close confidant to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called Saudi Arabia a "hostile country" and added that the deal was "definitely something that should trouble us". Trump's Israel visit comes after he delivered a powerful speech at the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh on Sunday.

"That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith".

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However, news accounts have not accused Mr Trump of naming Israel as a source of the information.

Meanwhile, Tillerson also said Monday that Trump's views on Islam "continue to evolve".

"America is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interests, but nations can't wait for American power to crush this enemy for them", he said. White House national security adviser HR McMaster seem to confirm he would not use the phrase ahead of the visit.

However, Mr Trump may face concerns from Israelis over the new 110 billion United States dollar (£85 billion) arms deal he announced during his stop in Saudi Arabia as well as questions from Israeli officials about the revelations that he disclosed sensitive Israeli intelligence to Russian officials. "The Iranian regime's longest-suffering victims are the Iranian people", Trump said.

Trump warned of Iran's escalating presence in the region.

Trump's harder stance on Iran is also in part due to his hope to unite Sunni-majority Muslim nations together against their common Shia-majority adversary, Liasson said. "Nice seeing an American President standing strong on the world stage rather than apologizing for us", he said in a tweet.

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