Saudi Foreign Minister: Trump ‘Deserves a Lot of Credit’ for Effort to Unite People of Faith


Speaking at a joint press conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir commended President Donald Trump for an international trip designed to unite people of different faiths to address a threat faced by all of humanity around the globe regardless of their religion.

“The President deserves a lot of credit for taking this step, making his first visit outside the U.S. to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and land of the two holy Mosques, and then going to Israel and then going to the Vatican to deal with the Jewish world and with the Christian world in order to try to bring the three religions together,” al-Jubeir said. “This is the way to proceed.”

“This is the way we move from enmity to partnership,” al-Jubeir said. “This is a fight – not a clash of civilization, this is a fight for civilization.”

“It’s as the President said, it’s good versus evil, and good includes everybody – Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, everyone.”

“And evil includes everyone who seeks death and destruction, irrespective of their faith,” al-Jubeir said. “And so the importance and significance of this conference today is that it is the first step where there’s an outreach and there’s a desire to say we need to work together, and we need to work together in order to support good versus evil and we need to take concrete steps to do so.”

Tillerson also praised the president for a strategy of bringing people of faith together to defeat Islamic terrorists, which will benefit all people.

“The President is convinced with all sincerity that when the three great faiths of this world and the millions of Americans who practice these three great faiths – when we unify with our brothers in faith the world over, we can prevail over this – these forces of evil and these forces of terrorism and destabilization,” Tillerson said. “And when we succeed in dismantling these forces, we create enormously positive conditions for the advancement of human rights everywhere, because it is these forces that are most oppressive to peoples.”

At a joint press conference on Saturday al-Jubeir borrowed words from Trump’s presidential campaign as a way to explain a united effort to defeat terrorism.

“We will have truly drowned [out] the voices of extremism and we will have drained the swamps in which extremism and terrorism emanates,” al-Jubeir said.

“They say in medicine that diagnosis is half the cure,” al-Jubeir said on Sunday. “Well, we’ve diagnosed the problem, and the diagnosis of the problem is that we need to pull the rug out from under the forces of evil by seeing this as a common problem that meets a common solution, and seeing ourselves as children of God irrespective of what our religion is.

“That’s how we deal with this problem,” al-Jubeir said.


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