Saudi king touts Trump's Islamic summit as "new partnership"

Frederick Owens
May 18, 2017

During his trip to Saudi Arabia, Trump is set to conclude a series of arms deals with the kingdom worth more than $100 billion, an unnamed senior White House Official told Reuters on Friday.

The next day, the president will hold bilateral meetings with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders, as well as broader meetings with Gulf state leaders.

The trip includes a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels and the Group of Seven (G7) in Sicily.

Trump will meet with Israel President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and plans to lay a wreath at Yad Vashem, a Holocaust memorial.

Trump's decision to kick off his first foreign trip as president with a speech in Saudi Arabia on Islam is reminiscent of former President Barack Obama's June 2009 "A New Beginning" speech in Egypt. Obama had pledged during his campaign to deliver an address from a Muslim country during the first few months of his presidency, in an attempt to strengthen ties between the USA and the Muslim world.

Trump meets privately later that day with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This will be followed by a visit to the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites.

Trump meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

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On the presidential campaign trail Trump clashed with Pope Francis, after the pontiff criticized his anti-immigrant rhetoric and plans to build a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Other planned activities include touring St. Peter's and speaking with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome.

Trump holds a working lunch with the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

After an election campaign in which he was accused of stoking Islamophobia, and where he pledged to ban Muslims entering America, his aides say he wants to reset his image.

From Rome, Trump will go to Brussels, Belgium to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting. He then heads to Italy and the island of Sicily for the Group of Seven summit on May 26 and 27.

"'America First" didn't mean "America alone', ever", Trump's National Security Advisor HR McMaster said just days before Trump heads on a five-nation tour with stops in the Middle East and Europe.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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