Sudan's president invited by Saudi Arabia to Trump meeting

Sudan's president invited by Saudi Arabia to Trump meeting

Sudan's president invited by Saudi Arabia to Trump meeting

US President Donald Trump will give a major speech on the Islamic faith during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, home to the religion s holiest shrines, the White House said Tuesday.

While Ali Shihabi, a political commentator, said that this visit was about establishing the US's commitment to defending the Gulf monarchies from Iran, ISIS and al-Qaeda, because the Trump administrations see this as "the front line in the battle against terrorism".

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.

In Israel, Trump is meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will visit the Vad Yashem memorial to the Holocaust.

After departing Riyadh, Mr. Trump will make stops in Israel and Vatican City before attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders meeting in Brussels and a Group of Seven summit in Sicily.

Ali Shihabi, a pro-Saudi commentator, sees this visit as a solid U.S. commitment to defending the Gulf monarchies from Iran, ISIS and Al Qaeda, which in his view are making a determined effort to bring down the monarchies that "constitute the front line in the battle against terrorism".

Saudi Arabia and other Muslims nations, particularly members of the GCC are seen as key to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. "A country like Saudi Arabia wouldn't exist for a week".

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Sisi met with King Salman in late April in the Saudi capital, where the two Arab leaders said they looked forward to enhancing cooperation to face challenges and restore security and stability in the region, referring to the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya.

Beyond the meeting with Saudi government officials, Trump will meet 56 Arab and Muslim leaders to discuss combating extremism and how to crack down on illicit financing.

Shortly thereafter, secretary of state Rex Tillerson said: "Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests..."

The invited countries do not include Iran, which the Trump administration maintains is a "leading state sponsor of terror" though the administration has backed off on calls to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.

An inaugural Saudi-U.S. CEO forum will be held in Riyadh on Saturday in which several deals are expected to be signed in defense, electricity, oil and gas, industrial and chemical sectors.

But Mr. Trump's arrival in Riyadh is a signal that this could change quickly, said Ford Fraker, who served as USA ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2007 to 2009. They don't pay us almost what they should be paying.

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