Trump Tells Middle East to 'Drive Out' Islamist Extremists

President Donald Trump today urged Arab leaders to purge their societies of "foot soldiers of evil" in a speech that put the burden on the region to "drive out" terrorism.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right and US President Donald Trump shake hands during a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday, May 22, 2017.

"This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership", Trump said.

Some regarded his speech as a positive step towards Muslims.

Washington is leading a coalition battling IS, a Sunni Muslim jihadist organisation, in Syria and Iraq, and Trump said he would hold a press conference "in about two weeks" on how the U.S. is faring in the battle. "Nice seeing an American President standing strong on the world stage rather than apologizing for us", he said in a tweet.

But over the weekend, he said: "I have always heard about the splendour of your country and the kindness of your people, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this sacred place". It is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.

Jacobs Engineering will form a joint venture with Aramco to manage business projects in the kingdom, and McDermott International will transfer some of its ship fabrication facilities from Dubai to a new shipbuilding complex which Aramco will build within Saudi Arabia. "Drive them out of your communities!"

"That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds", Trump said.

The moment was abrupt interruption of an otherwise warm and smooth welcome for Trump to the Holy Land.

White House officials has said he did not want to lecture, something they believe Obama did, unsuccessfully. "Instead, we are here to offer partnership - based on shared interests and values - to pursue a better future for us all".

In his speech Sunday, he made no mention of the executive orders he signed after taking office barring visitors from several predominantly Muslim countries. His second stop on the nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

He declared Islam "one of the world's great faiths".

Mr Trump's signature phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" was not included in the speech. He criticized President Obama's refusal to use the term, which many deemed problematic.

The official briefed on Sunday's meeting said the package includes building permits for Palestinians in Area C that has largely been off limits to Palestinian development until now.

Rohani's remarks came as Trump trained more criticism on Iran in a visit to Israel on May 22, saying that Tehran must stop supporting "terrorists and militia" and must never acquire nuclear weapons.

Ahead of Trump's visit to Israel, Iran accused the United States of selling arms to "dangerous terrorists" in the Middle East and of spreading "Iranophobia".

  • Leroy Wright