Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Saudi Arabia Says Trump Visit To Bolster Cooperation

Saudi Arabia Says Trump Visit To Bolster Cooperation

The US president has chosen Saudi Arabia for his first foreign visit since taking office.

The agreement, between the USA under former president Barack Obama, five other world powers, and Tehran, was viewed with suspicion by Riyadh.

Ahead of Donald Trump's arrival in Saudi Arabia on Friday - making the Islamic Kingdom the first foreign country to receive an official visit from the new US President - Saudi newspaper columnists heralded the prospect of improved relations with the US.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman is calling Trump's upcoming visit "historic" and hopes the summit on Islam will "establish a new partnership in confronting extremism and terrorism".

"As we know Saudi Arabia is the world's foremost supporter of terrorist groups", the analyst noted, referring to the Riyadh regime's military aggression against Yemen as well as its funding of terror groups wreaking havoc in Syria.

Trump's delivery of a speech on Islam before dozens of Muslim leaders gathered in the Saudi capital could prove a far more delicate exercise, however, given the tensions sparked by his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority nations - now stuck in the United States courts. "Several agreements will be signed, whether political agreements. and big economic agreements", he said. Saudi Arabia will also want to showcase high-profile investment deals with American companies to show progress on its ambitious "Vision 2030" economic and social reform agenda, while Washington says USA arms sales arms worth tens of billions of dollars are in the pipeline.

James Jatras, a former Senate foreign policy adviser, made the remarks while discussing Trump's upcoming Middle East tour which involves stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Vatican respectively.

Trump will meet with leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries and take part in the opening of a new center in Saudi Arabia aimed at promoting what the US hopes will be a moderate version of Islam.

"Trump is expected to address the entire Islamic world while trying to establish this sort of a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, particularly concerning groups like ISIL".

This comes on the heels of Trump reportedly sharing classified Israeli intelligence on ISIS with Russian Federation.

Donald Trump is going to be busy when Air Force One touches down in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

"The common interests of these global leaders are what bring them together in Riyadh", he said, including issues ranging from terrorism to rekindling US ties post-Obama. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were from Saudi Arabia.

The three summits will be accompanied by preparations and substantive initiatives to strengthen the commitment of Saudi Arabia, Washington, and Arab countries to consolidate the future of security and peace in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Leaders and representatives of 55 countries - from the southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei to Africa's Niger and heavyweights including Turkey - have been invited by King Salman for Sunday's summit with Trump.

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