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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Trump to Visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican

    Trump to Visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican

    The visits will be in addition to Trump’s previously scheduled stops in Brussels and Italy on this trip.

    By Curt Mills, Staff Writer | May 4, 2017, at 1:38 p.m.


    Trump to Visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican



    President Donald Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican later this month. (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES)


    President Donald Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican later this month, the White House confirmed on Thursday.

    The stops -- previously unannounced -- will be part of Trump's larger first foreign trip as president, that includes a NATO meeting in Brussels and a G-7 meeting in Italy. Trump's first foreign trip is hotly anticipated. With the addition of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the trip is now packed with traditional allies of the United States.


    In a call with reporters Thursday afternoon, senior administration officials said combating extremism -- as well as acknowledging and respecting Islam's holiest sites -- were the trip's goals.

    "The purpose… is really to bring together all the different countries and the different religions in the fight against intolerance and to defeat radicalism," one official explained. "This whole conversation started with the Saudis, shortly after the election. They approached us, wanting to start a new relationship with America."

    The president wants "a long-term fix for radicalization" and "to fight the ideological battle for the long-term," the official emphasized.


    On Wednesday, in an address to State Department employees, Tillerson name-checked Saudi Arabia as a particularly fruitful relationship.

    "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… and to embrace a more just and hopeful future for young Muslims in their countries," Trump said Thursday, signing a religious liberty executive order at the White House.

    But the country's government and its relationship with the U.S. are not without considerable controversy. Critics have blasted the monarchical form of government in Riyadh, the actions of the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen, and the country's associations with Wahhabism as well as the 9/11 hijackers.


    The White House was pressed on this Thursday, dismissing accusations that the Saudis are "opportunists" looking to take advantage of the fight against the Islamic State group as well as the administration's suspicion of Iran, a major antagonist of both countries.

    "We're at a moment in time," the senior administration official explained. "President Trump did not create the environment that we're in. … We're trying to play the hand the best we can, to create the best outcome possible. What we see is real willingness to combat these things. Their leadership seems very committed towards achieving the same outcomes that we want to achieve."

    The White House also confirmed on Thursday that Trump, when he visits Israel, will meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, in what will be the second such meeting in under a month. Trump hosted Abbas in Washington on Wednesday.

    A second meeting signals an intention by Trump to move beyond rhetoric and toward a concrete attempt to forge peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, Ilan Goldenberg of the Center for a New American Security told U.S. News.

    "It's an indicator he wants to dive into it," says Goldenberg, who previously served on former Secretary of State John Kerry's team for negotiations between the two parties.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/national...ter-this-month

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senior Member posylady's Avatar
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    Convince them to pay their fair share to the U.N. Saudi has it squeeze it out of them. I remember a neighbor telling me about Desert Storm these rich kids with their cell phones and fancy cars all dressed in clean white calling American Military their American slaves. It really made the military guys mad.
    Judy and Beezer like this.

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