Saudi king says Iran at forefront of global terrorism
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 26, 2017,
May 26, 2017, 15:02
President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia has been fraught with controversy, from a potentially-illegal $110 billion arms deal, to his shifting rhetoric on Islam, to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates' massive donation to Ivanka Trump's "women's empowerment" fund. "Instead, we are here to offer partnership-based on shared interests and values-to pursue a better future for us all", Trump said.
On Tuesday, the USA leader will meet Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.
Zarif pointed out that while campaigning ahead of the U.S. election, Trump himself suggested that the kingdom could be behind the attack. "This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilisations", Trump said.
Reacting to Trump's address, the Council on American Islamic Relations said "one speech can not outweigh years of anti-Muslim rhetoric", and urged "concrete actions.to reset relations with the Muslim world".
His attempt early in his presidency to ban people from seven Muslim-majority nations has been blocked by the courts.
Speaking a day after Iran re-elected the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani as president, Mr Trump risked reigniting tensions with Tehran by accusing the country of bearing responsibility for instability in the region.
Trump's willingness to set aside human rights as a principal foreign policy has been one constant in his chaotic administration. There were no promises of new financial investment or announcements of increased US military presence in the region.
He urged them to drive extremists "out of your places of worship. Drive them out", Trump said.
As Trump closed out his speech - yes, at one point even mentioning the importance of commerce - the camera on the White House live stream panned to show aides and officials listening to Trump's address on the dais. Obama called for understanding and acknowledged some of America's missteps in the region. "The nations of the Middle East can not wait for American power to crush this enemy for them", he said.
He wasn't likely to bow before he became the leader of the free world, so it shouldn't have been a surprise when he didn't genuflect before Saudi King Salman as President Barack Obama did in 2009.
The president has been enthusiastically embraced in Riyadh, where the ruling royal family has welcomed his tougher stance on Iran, its regional foe.
"For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror", Trump said.
A White House official blamed Trump's fatigue for the switch. He's been besieged by a series of revelations about the ongoing federal investigation into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation and his decision to fire FBI director James Comey, who had been overseeing the Russian Federation probe.
Before the speech, Trump held individual meetings with leaders of several nations, including Egypt and Qatar.
He praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, telling him, "You have done a tremendous job under trying circumstances". Trump praised el-Sissi for the April release of Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi, detained in the country for almost three years.
"But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong, and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfils their part of the burden. the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them", Mr Trump said.
After hosting Mr Abbas at the White House in March, Mr Trump boldly stated that achieving peace is "something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years".