Saudi king: Trump visit a 'turning point'

"This is a battle between good and evil".

While in Saudi Arabia, Trump delivered a speech calling for nations to drive out the militant group.

David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, welcomed Trump's "refreshingly honest" take on the "Islamist extremist threat that developed in the Middle East years ago".

Following a tumultuous ten-days for the president where he faced calls for impeachment from some democrats for sharing classified information with Russian Federation and a deepening crisis over his relationship with former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, Mr Trump's team has been keen to cast Mr Trump as a credible global leader as he prepares to make a series of visits to potentially politically charged regions such as Israel, the Vatican and Brussels.

"Of course, there is still much work to be done". "Drive them out of your places of worship". Drive them out of your holy land.

"Drive them out", he entreated.

In the grand King Abdulaziz Conference Centre, with crystal chandeliers and gold-rimmed side tables laden with snacks and sterling silver pens, the leaders listened to Mr Trump's first official speech to leaders overseas since his inauguration.

During Trump's first stop on his four-nation tour, the Saudis pledged to spend billions on infrastructure projects in the US and military equipment but the arms deal has raised red flags in Israel.

And while it's an exaggeration to say that Barack Obama could have given the speech, it's notable that Trump never used the term he excoriated his predecessor - and Hillary Clinton - for eschewing.

While Obama and George W. Bush to different degrees had promoted human rights and democracy as tactics to undercut support for radicalism, Trump made clear he did not plan to publicly pressure Muslim nations to ease their repressive policies.

At the end of the Arab-Islamic summit on Sunday night, Salman and Trump inaugurated the Global Center to Fight the Extremist Ideology, and signed a memorandum with the GCC leaders to create another center to fight the financing of terrorism.

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 ..."

Iran - which was not invited to the summit - is a Shi'ite Muslim country, while Saudi Arabia and many of is Gulf neighbours are Sunni majority.

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

  • Larry Hoffman