Trump to Meet in Saudi Arabia with Leaders from Across Muslim World

President Donald Trump. and Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

Washibgton, 8 Sya’ban 1438/5 May 2917 (MINA) – President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that this month he will attend “a truly historic gathering in Saudi Arabia with leaders from all across the Muslim world” in his first stop overseas since assuming the presidency in January.

“Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the two holiest sites in Islam, and it is there that we will begin to construct a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies to combat extremism, terrorism and violence, and to embrace a more just and hopeful future for young Muslims in their countries,” KUNA quoted Trump as saying during remarks in the Rose Garden prior to signing an executive order on “promoting free speech and religious liberty.”

“Our task is not to dictate to others how to live, but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East,” Trump said. “We all pray that we can make a difference. We pray for peace.”

In a subsequent announcement, the White House said that Trump had “accepted the invitation of King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia later this month.”

“The visit will reaffirm the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia and allow the leaders to discuss issues of strategic concern, including efforts to defeat terrorist groups and discredit radical ideologies,” the announcement said. White House aides said Trump would depart Washington on May 19 for his Saudi visit.

The White House statement said that after leaving Riyadh, Trump would visit Israel, “where he will further strengthen the United States-Israel partnership.”

He and Israeli leaders “will discuss a range of regional issues, including the need to counter the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist groups,” the announcement said. They will also discuss “ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” it said.

Trump has also accepted the invitation of President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to meet with him “to discuss ways to advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as efforts to unlock the potential of the Palestinian economy,” the statement said. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)