Trump seeks 'reset' with Islamic world amid political tumult at home
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 1:12
The donation came despite several criticisms from President Trump during the campaign which saw him attack the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from repressive Middle East regimes such as Saudi Arabia.
According to a State Department report on the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia in 2015, "the government categorically forbids participation in political protests or unauthorized public assemblies, and security forces reportedly arrested demonstrators and detained them for brief periods".
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".
During his two days in Riyadh, Trump received a warm welcome from Arab leaders, who focused on his desire to restrain Iran's influence in the region, a commitment they found wanting in the Republican president's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
"We thought it was a fantastic idea", World Bank President Jim Young Kim said, when news of the $100 million donation broke.
He said, "We are not here to lecture - we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship", Trump said. Drive them out of your communities.
And, most importantly to the delight of Arab leaders, as the White House itself pointed out, Mr Trump was not soft on Iran.
He said Iran is the fuel that brings the radical groups "safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment" in its quest to destroy Israel and America and bring ruin to other countries in the region.
Pledging to work alongside the West Asian nations to combat extremist ideology in the region, Trump said all the countries from the U.S. to India, Australia to Russian Federation - have been "victim of terrorism and have suffered repeated barbaric attacks, reported ANI".
Al-Helaissi said that Trump's new administration could help Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia cooperate in an organized fight against terror.
Trump on Saturday signed a $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia alongside Salman and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.