Officials and diplomats have heralded President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia as proof that he has committed to working with Muslim countries to promote stability in the Middle East, particularly regarding Iran’s aggression in the region, according to the Saudi publication the Arab News.
“President Trump’s visit to the Kingdom is very important in the shared goal and efforts to fight terrorism and bring safety and stability in the Middle East,” Mona Almushait, a member of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council said.
“Trump’s meetings in Riyadh are essential to our national security and to the global stability, particularly because there will be discussions on measures to take to confront the Iranian aggression,” she said, noting that Trump is the first U.S. president to make Saudi Arabia his first international destination.
“Trump’s visit is very important for the security architecture in the region, and underlines the pivotal role the Kingdom is playing in the region,” German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller also told the publication.
“I understand that the fight against terrorism and extremism will be the main focus of the visit and this is very good news,” Haller said. “We can only fight terrorism successfully if we all — Arabs, Muslims and non-Muslims, Europeans, Americans — stand together.”
“I hope the very significant meetings President Trump will have in Riyadh will create the foundation for a better mutual understanding for all involved and for a stronger action in confronting the common challenges, including terrorism and regional instability,” Portuguese Ambassador Manuel Carvalho added in an interview with the newspaper..
In the early months of his administration, Trump has already held face-to-face meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
The Foreign Policy Group reported in April:
The contrast between the treatment of Egypt by the Trump and Obama administrations could not be more stark. Whereas President Barack Obama and his team did not hesitate to welcome the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt, while summarily dismissing former President Hosni Mubarak, the current administration is debating whether to go so far as to label the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
President Trump spoke on Tuesday night with King Abdullah II of Jordan, as part of his strategy to strengthen relationships with leaders of Muslim countries ahead of his Middle East visit, the Washington Times reported.
In the phone call, Trump and King Abdullah reportedly reaffirmed the need for U.S.-Jordanian coordination in anti-terror operations generally, the effort to end the civil war in Syria, and the shared fight against the Islamic State, the White House said.
During the presidential campaign Trump spoke out about the nuclear agreement with Iran that former President Barack Obama helped broker as a “terrible” deal and last month ordered a review of it.
“Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. “President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States.”
Trump will also visit Israel and Vatican City, where he will meet with Pope Francis. The President is also scheduled to meet with NATO officials in Brussels and with G-7 leaders meeting in Sicily.