By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The trip to Saudi will be followed by a trip to Israel and a visit to the Vatican – all three will have important implications for Trump.
Donald Trump is set to give a speech against radical Islam and the need to fight against extremists in Saudi Arabia. The U.S. President’s “inspiring yet direct” speech will be delivered in the presence of over 50 leaders gathered for an afternoon lunch. The leaders are going to be from countries with mostly Muslim majorities.

The speech in Saudi Arabia will be the first as a part of his first overseas trip after coming to power. The Saudi Arabia visit will be followed by a day in Israel, after which he will travel to the Vatican to visit the pope, and from then on, he will proceed for the NATO meeting in Sicily.

White House National Security adviser H.R. McMaster said the aim of this meeting is to “unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.” He also revealed that the president would be meeting the ruler of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz for coffee and also take part in the inauguration of a center which will focus on fighting radicalism and promoting moderation. He added that by establishing the center, Saudi Arabia has shown it is a partner of the U.S. in the fight against extremism and against fundamentalists “who adopt a perverted interpretation of religion to advance their criminal and political agendas."

Trump’s speech will be an interesting event because of the prior speeches he has made on Islam and also the ban that he recently instituted on the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Until now, the president has been perceived as someone who is very much against Islam. Now that he is indicating that Muslims can be U.S. partners in fighting against radicalism, it will be interesting to note how his address will be received, both by Muslims, as well as by his supporters in the U.S.

The president’s visit to the pope will be another interesting event, especially because of the differences between the two. Trump’s initial plan did not even involve visiting the pope, although he was scheduled to attend the NATO meeting in Sicily.

The visit to Israel will include praying at the Western Wall, sources reveal. However, back home, anti-Semitism is on a sharp rise and Trump is not very popular among Jews.


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