Muslim Travel Ban Guy Writes Trump's Saudi Speech

Trump departs on his first worldwide trip Friday, a nine-day visit overseas to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels and a Group of Seven meeting in Sicily.

Trump's dash to Riyadh shows not only the importance of the oil-rich kingdom, but a desire on the part of the White House to mend ties damaged due to Obama's overtures towards Iran.

And while the President and Saudi leaders may agree on many policy issues, the summit does present several areas of potential conflict.

While Middle East experts expect Trump to be warmly welcomed in Saudi Arabia and Israel, he could be received in Europe with some trepidation.

The kingdom wants Trump to align US interests with Saudi Arabia's - and is literally counting down the seconds until Trump starts his meetings Saturday. This week, he only further fueled concerns when The Washington Post first reported he spilled top secret intelligence in an Oval Office meeting with a Russian delegation.

He reckons the best the Trump administration can hope for is that the trip passes without incident. Instead, the official said, the president and his team are confident that the substance of the trip - including major national security and business announcements - will generate headlines that can push Comey, Russia and the appointment of a special counsel off of front pages. "He represents the United States, even if we are setting kind of a low bar for this trip - if he doesn't make mistakes".

He added that Saudi Arabia wanted to send a message to the West that Muslim countries were "not enemies".

President Trump will try to leave his troubles behind as he departs on the first foreign trip of his presidency.

Foreign travel has never been high on Trump's list of priorities.

Richard Nephew, a Columbia University scholar who was the State Department's lead sanctions expert during the Iran nuclear negotiations, said Trump's trip has many potential pitfalls. Others said those lengthy sessions will be a test of Trump's patience and ability to cede the spotlight, and they worry about a gaffe or blunder.

KEITH: Very likely because the American press corps is following the president overseas, and there are likely to be more developments back in Washington, even as he's abroad.

King Salman is convening more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders for the summit in Riyadh on Sunday. United States allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia often expressed deep dissatisfaction with the Obama administration's foreign policy, and outreach to Iran, capped by the controversial nuclear deal.

But the United States embassy in Khartoum said on Wednesday that it opposed "invitations, facilitation or support for travel by any person subject to outstanding International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants, including President Bashir".

From there Trump goes to Europe, for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, a protocol-laden visit to see Pope Francis at the Vatican, and a gathering of the Group of Seven economic powers in Italy.

The center is a personal project of Mohammed bin Salman, and it brings the deputy crown prince deep into the security arena traditionally dominated by his rival, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the minister of the interior who is nominally his senior but whom he seems to have eclipsed in power.

  • Zachary Reyes