In Riyadh speech, Trump says India has 'suffered repeated barbaric attacks'

Trump singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups.

Trump went on to criticise Iran, which just saw President Hassan Rouhani win a re-election bid, saying the country has "for decades.fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror".

While running for the job he now holds, Trump heartily criticised President Barack Obama for not using the term "radical Islamic extremism" and said that refusal indicated that Obama did not understand America's enemy.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia shakes hands with President Trump at the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 21.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

"A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists".

On Sunday night in Riyadh after a long day of events, many of them delayed, he skipped a "tweeps" forum for young people that was to be his last activity of the day, sending daughter Ivanka in his place.

The speech came as Trump tried to escape the fallout from his May 9 firing of former FBI Director James Comey amid accusations he was trying to stop a federal investigation into his campaign's ties with Russian Federation past year.

President Trump's first overseas trip since taking office started with a visit to Saudi Arabia.

"There is still much work to be done". He wasn't going to visit the country without giving a speech about the need to confront Islamic extremism and violence, the person said. Trump will be testing the waters for jumpstarting the dormant Middle East peace process, though White House officials have tamped down prospects for a breakthrough on the trip.

India is among countries that have been victims of terrorism, Trump says.

"Putting the context of the speech aside, the imagery is striking: Here is Donald Trump in the birthplace of Islam speaking to Muslim leaders from across the world, and the Koran is being recited before he gives his address".

During the 2016 USA campaign, Mr Trump mused about his belief that "Islam hates us".

President Trump on Sunday pivoted away from his strident assessment of Islam as a religion of hatred as he sought to redefine U.S. leadership in the Mideast and rally the Muslim world to join him in a renewed campaign against extremism. Trump brought with him a $110 billion arms package for his hosts, aimed at bolstering Saudi security and a slew of business agreements.

The Saudi king also felicitated Donald Trump with their highest civilian order.

"Our responsibility before God and our people and the whole world is to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism wherever they are ... The Iranian regime represents the tip of the spear of global terrorism".

America, he said, had suffered repeated barbaric attacks, from September 11 to the Boston bombings and the Orlando attack.

There were no promises of new financial investment or announcements of increased USA military presence in the region.

Trump's welcome in the region was put on display during a series of individual meetings with Arab leaders. "Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes", he said. Instead, he extolled Islam as "one of the world's great faiths" and the Middle East as a region of great beauty.

  • Leroy Wright