President Trump seeks reform, not intervention, on Middle East trip

President Trump presented the world's top Muslim leaders Sunday with a message that was both reassuring and direct, offering "closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce" but also challenging them to "drive out" of their societies those who claim inspiration from Islam as they commit terror around the world. "The people know. that without competition on the basis of quality, not on the basis of political or security power, that our economy can not progress", he said. "When they attacked Afghanistan (and) Iraq, when they made sanctions against Iran".

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was caught on camera taking what appeared to be a snooze during President Donald Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia Sunday. "We are waiting for this government to settle". The regime that is responsible for so much instability in that region.

Earlier Monday, the president joked that longtime Trump Organization negotiator Jason Greenblatt and USA ambassador to Israel David Friedman would be responsible for achieving Middle East peace, a task that has also been delegated to Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Then he made clear there would be no public lecture from America on Saudi Arabia's abysmal human rights record. During a campaign speech in December 2015, he called for a "total shutdown" on Muslims entering the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on".

- Having declared that finding a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is "maybe not as hard as people have thought", President Donald Trump will make his first visit to Israel with few concrete ideas of solving a problem that has vexed presidents for decades.

He said the only sensible move by Washington was the nuclear deal it signed with Iran in 2015, when the USA "talked with respect" and reached a "win-win result". In Israel on Monday, he warned of "the threat posed by Iran" through the possibility of it acquiring nuclear weapons and its support of militant groups.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France is convinced that Iran under Rouhani will have "an important role in the pacification" of the region.

"He's saying, 'Forget all of that, I'm telling you right now, our No. 1 concern is putting these guys down, and however we can work together to make that happen, that's great, ' " O'Connell said.

Trump arrived in Riyadh Friday for a two-day visit.

"The problem is that the Americans do not know our region and those who advise US officials are misleading them".

"Our missiles are for our defence and for peace, they are not offensive". "We will not wait for them and their permission".

  • Joanne Flowers