Saudi Arabia counting down the seconds until Trump arrives

The Arab Islamic American summit at King Abdulaziz Convention Centre on May 21 will see President Trump and leaders of the world's Islamic nations meet to address ways of building more robust and effective security partnerships to counter and prevent the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism around the globe through promoting tolerance and moderation.

Saudi officials said Tuesday that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir - who is wanted on genocide charges by an global court - has been invited to an upcoming summit with President Donald Trump and the leaders of Muslim nations.

The White House said that Mr Trump would also give an "inspiring" speech about Islam.

In Saudi Arabia he is expected to deliver a landmark speech on Islam; in Israel he will visit the holy contested city of Jerusalem; and in Rome a visit to the Vatican is on the agenda.

The virtual-and-in-person gathering will serve as an opportunity for youths in notoriously-closed Saudi Arabia to "be able to live tweet" Trump's remarks "all over the world", McMaster said Tuesday.

The Trump Administration has said it intends to unite the Muslim world against common enemies and demonstrate America's commitment to its Muslim partners. This will be followed by a visit to the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites.

Trump's visit "sends a clear message that the U.S.is standing with its close allies in the region and that they're not abandoning them", a senior Saudi official told Reuters, reflecting the view many Gulf leaders had of Obama, who they considered had made securing a nuclear deal with Iran a higher priority than the U.S. -Gulf alliance. He'll stay through Sunday before flying to Israel for a day, then will visit Pope Francis on Rome the next day before continuing on to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and then the G7 summit in Sicily.

The next morning the president heads to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom he recently welcomed to the White House, to "convey his administration's eagerness to facilitate an agreement that ends the conflict".

  • Leroy Wright