Saudi king touts Trump's Islamic summit as "new partnership"

US President Donald Trump will urge unity between the world's major faiths on an ambitious first foreign trip that will take him to Saudi Arabia, the Vatican and Jerusalem, the White House said Tuesday. National Security Advisor HR confirmed that Trump would address a gathering of Muslim leaders on his hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam.

Ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have gone through ups and downs over the past year, mostly due to their different views on some regional issues particularly the situations in Syria and Yemen. The second draft of the order removed Iraq from this list, and both are now held up in court.

Although Trump is right that America should not "dictate to others how to live", he needs to consider how he can "build a coalition of partners" whose entire way of life is indelibly linked to the cause and spread of the very extremism, violence and global terrorism that he aims to eradicate.

The speech will likely draw increased attention to what is already supposed to be a high profile trip, given his rhetoric about Muslims in the United States, which many pundits and Democrats have deemed discriminatory.

Critics have accused Trump of being anti-Muslim after he issued a ban, now blocked by US courts, on entry into the United States by citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, citing national security concerns. "Clearly new screening procedures are needed".

Trump will also visit Israel and the Vatican, and later on Brussels and Sicily for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

Iraq PM: No US combat troops to stay in Iraq after IS
Any forces who remained would continue to be designated as advisers for the same reason, the Iraqi government official said. The UN has said it believes that close to 420,000 people might be trapped in the densely populated Old City of Mosul.

Representatives from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and its Ministry of Finance have not publicly commented on the story. Ties with Saudi Arabia are in particularly bad shape, with the kingdom feeling Mr Obama was too eager to appease its main regional rival, Iran, while negotiating a deal to rein in Tehran's nuclear programme.

Trump also departed from decades of USA diplomatic policy in February, saying that he was fine with a one-state solution.

Media reports have said that several Gulf states may be willing to normalize relations with Israel in return for renewed peace talks with Palestinians. We couldn't do this work without your help.

President Trump said he would discuss with Saudi Arabia the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and ways to counter Iran's growing influence in the region.

In addition, King Salman has invited more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders to attend a summit on May 21, just as USA federal courts are weighing the president's revised travel executive order, which would suspend the entry of people from six Muslim-majority nations to review screening measures.

  • Megan Austin