Trump avoids pointing to Saudis' human rights failings

President Trump also fell victim to the age old presidential posture problem and the question of bowing in the presence of foreign leaders. "People that want to protect life, and protect their religion-this is a battle between good and evil", he said.

Mr Trump described the situation as a "battle between good and evil" rather than a clash between the west and Islam.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster has also urged the president not to say "radical Islamic terrorism", arguing that militant groups like ISIS endorse a twisted view of Islam and that the phrase ultimately hinders USA goals, according to CNN.

Speaking at the Arab-Islamic-US summit, without naming Pakistan, Trump asked countries to ensure that terror groups don't find sanctuaries on their soil.

The secretary of commerce expressed surprise - and approval - at the lack of visible protests during President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, despite the ruling monarchy's repression of demonstrations.

Trump implicitly rejected the aspirational goals and call for democracy and human rights of former president Barack Obama, who also delivered a major speech to the Islamic world early in his presidency. "The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries and for their children", Trump said.

In his first keynote speech overseas, Trump sought to redefine his relationship with the Muslim world and focused on his desire to curb Iran's influence in the region.

The president put much of the onus for combating extremists on Mideast leaders: "Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of the holy land".

A White House official said the deal will work to increase Saudi Arabia's defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extremist terrorist groups and Iran.

Trump's comments came after he ticked down a list of major terrorist attacks in the USA and also noted that Europe has "also endured unspeakable horror".

In March, the US President declared that finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is maybe not as hard as people have thought.

  • Joanne Flowers