Donald Trump's Saudi Arabia speech: eight key points
- Author: Leroy Wright May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 21:04
"There is still much work to be done".
Mr. Trump's highly anticipated address in Saudi Arabia on Sunday will focus heavily on the fight against terrorism but will include little in terms of human rights. His first major speech on foreign soil will come in the afternoon at the Arab-Islamic-American summit. "That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds", Trump said.
White House aides have also tried to play down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump's stop, casting the visit as symbolic.
This is quite right - and a departure from Trump's previous rhetoric.
Trump said the United States is prepared to stand with leaders of Arab and Muslim-majority countries in the fight against extremists, but said those countries must take the lead. Trump's team might hope it's lost on his supporters back home as well.
Riyadh was the first stop on Trump's first global trip as president.
"It wasn't the Iraqis" Trump told Fox & Friends last February, "It was Saudi - take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents".
Trump did offer a new phrase to describe the stakes.
"This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations", Trump told a crowded room.
"Drive them out of your places of worship", Trump said. "Drive them out of your communities!" "Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth", he said.
Trumped stated that a better future for young Muslim boys and girls, where they can grow up free of fear and safe from violence, can on be achieved by "defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it".
The meeting with Sisi - an avowed fan - was especially warm, and Trump said he would "absolutely" be putting Egypt on his list of countries to visit "very soon". Tehran and Riyadh are at odds on a range of regional conflicts, including the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.
"The true toll of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead".
Trump also dispensed with Obama's skittishness regarding the word "terrorism". Being seen as insulting their religion wouldn't help either cause.
Trump also announced that representatives of the nations present at the summit would be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center. It was just one of a series of inflammatory statements about one of the world's major religions that included a call to surveille mosques and a proposal to ban all foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".
US President Donald Trump has insisted that he "never mentioned" Israel in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at which he reportedly shared highly classified information from a foreign partner.
Reports have also emerged that Trump called Comey "a nut job" and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified a senior White House official as a "significant person of interest" in its probe of Russian meddling.
Some lawmakers in both parties raised concerns with Trump's reluctance to publicly vouch for US values in places where people are persecuted. Women are banned from driving, although rights advocates have campaigned to lift that ban.
Even as he adjusted his rhetoric in Riyadh, Trump made clear his address would not be a repeat of his predecessor Barack Obama's speech in Cairo in 2009.
The approach was also created to contrast with former president Barack Obama, whom Mr Trump has criticised for his handling of the fight against ISIS. He greeted the crowd with an "Assalaamu alaykum" and said, "Let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America". His wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son- in-law Jared Kushner accompanied him. "The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil".
"We have to stand up for what we believe in or we're no different", the Arizona Republican said.