Saudi says Trump visit to bolster security, trade ties

Joan Terry
May 19, 2017

Officials are eager to highlight the powerful symbolism of an American president choosing to visit the birthplace of Islam as his first stop rather than to neighbors Canada or Mexico.

"As long as Iran threatens with terrorism, it is impossible to have normal relations with them".

Saudi Arabia's Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) arranged the trip, Schock said.

A central role will be played by Saudi Arabia. Keith's participation came amid reports that Trump was having trouble attracting celebrities to the event.

Trump, on his first foreign trip since taking office in January, will tell Muslim leaders of his "hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam" as he seeks support for the war against radical Islamists, Washington has said. The president will then travel to Israel and the Vatican, before attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders meeting in Brussels and a G7 summit in Sicily.

However, a row erupted Tuesday over United States policy toward Israel days ahead of a visit by President Donald Trump, with fresh questions raised over the White House's approach to the ultra-sensitive status of Jerusalem. Trump has previously said that he wants to see Arab countries do more to curb the threat of extremism, and has hailed regional leaders such as Egypt's Abdul Fatah al-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah for their efforts. Trump would address the gathering on Sunday.

Boris Johnson makes 'absolutely outrageous' booze gaffe in Sikh temple
A spokesman for Johnson denied that it was a gaffe, claiming instead that he was sympathising with the woman's personal situation. The foreign secretary was campaigning for the 2017 General Election as he visited the Sikh community.

The Trump administration has heavily criticized the West's nuclear agreement with Iran that was backed by Obama.

If Arab Nato succeeds, the White House official said the United States could shift the responsibility for security to those in the region and create jobs at home through the arms sales.

Twitter is wildly popular among Saudis and is rife with criticisms of the government, which has cracked down on users who openly criticize the royal family or religious establishment.

While Saudi Arabia's restrictions on freedom and ban on women driving often grab headlines, Trump is not expected to make human rights concerns a centerpiece of his talks with Saudi royals on Saturday.

"We will also look at terror financing initiative, increasing cooperation between Islamic Military Alliance and the [US-led] coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq", Jubeir added.

Despite the political chaos in Washington, White House officials have been working steadily behind the scenes planning the logistics of Trump's travel to four countries over eight days, despite concerns from skeptics that the trip is too big and too ambitious.

Other reports by BadHub

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