White House: Trump will reinforce strong alliance, talk peace on Israel trip
- Author: Leroy Wright May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 18:06
The trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome, "a place my cardinals love very much", Trump joked, will come ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and a Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Sicily later this month.
Mr Trump, who met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in February, has assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner to oversee efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Trump administration has reportedly refused an Israeli proposal to delay the USA president's first visit to the region until June when the Jewish states celebrates the 50th anniversary of its historic victories in the Six Day War.
Trump has also had a history with Pope Francis who once said of candidate Trump: "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian".
Trump's first foreign foray comes relatively late in the game, and he'll depart from a tradition every president since Ronald Reagan honored: Making Canada his first or second foreign stop.
America needs the participation of four key countries for a coalition to help stabilize the Middle East and combat the Islamic State-Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia-said James Carafano, vice president for national security and foreign policy studies at The Heritage Foundation. Trump hopes to use the meeting to obtain a "long term fix for radicalization" in the Muslim world, as well as to work to cut off funding for terror groups and to increase burden sharing in the fight against ISIS.
Trump's visit to Rome will mark the first time he and Pope Francis have spoken.
In Riyadh Trump will meet Gulf and Middle East leaders where the issue of Iran, militancy and other issues will feature on the agenda.
In his first 100 days, former President Barack Obama had visited nine foreign countries.
Afterwards, Donald Trump relaxed his tone and said that pope was hoodwinked and he was not aware of the influence of the medicines coming into the USA.
One White House official said the trip is meant to show that Trump is not an isolationist leader.
Trump has stopped short of recommitting his administration to a two-state solution, a long-standing foundation of U.S. policy. "President Trump expressed his deep respect for the religion of Islam, considering it one of the divine religions that came with great human principles kidnapped by radical groups".
"It is a huge thing that he's starting his first trip from Saudi Arabia".
More recently, in an interview with Spanish daily El Pais conducted as Trump was being sworn in as president on January 20, Francis warned against populism, saying it could lead to the election of "saviours" like Hitler. "The President is very involved in [discussing] a lot of ideas". Trump and Francis couldn't be more different in their approaches to some of the pressing issues of the day, with immigration and climate change topping the list.