Melania Trump announces first overseas trip as first lady


Saudi Arabia is not concerned about sharing intelligence with the United States, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Thursday. These are not the best of circumstances.

The summit, which will be attended by US President Donald Trump and leaders of the member countries of the 41-nation Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), is expected to cover issues of counter-terrorism and violent extremism.

There's precedent for this: In 2016 when President Obama traveled overseas, he was asked repeatedly - nearly exclusively it seemed - about the presidential campaign and then-candidate Donald Trump.

To date, Trump has left foreign travel to his top aides and Cabinet members, including Vice President Mike Pence, who has twice traveled overseas, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

"The Trump administration is very cognizant of the dangers Iran represent to the region", he said, and will work "to contain Iran".

Jubeir said the kingdom has arrested several thousand people as members of the Islamic State, and said he hopes for greater US cooperation on counterterrorism issues.

Will it be the populist, "America first" president who declared to union workers on April 4 that he was "not president of the world?"

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"What we don't know is which of these, the more intense solidarity Donald Trump or the more skeptical Donald Trump we're going to see", said Stephen Sestanovich, who was an ambassador at large for the former Soviet Union from 1997 to 2001.

Saudi leaders seek to convince President Donald Trump that his priorities are theirs, too, and that they are indispensable partners in fighting terrorism, in confronting Iran, in bolstering USA businesses and perhaps in pursuing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Saudi Arabia will continue to share military intelligence with the United States and will use the opportunity to strengthen ties with America during U.S. president Donald Trump's visit to the kingdom.

He noted that Saudi Arabia severely restricts freedom of expression and religion, and do not allow the construction of Christian churches.

Here are 5 objectives to watch for as Trump goes overseas.

How does Trump really feel about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation? White House officials said he'll reassert American leadership during the tour of three religious capitals in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome before sitting down with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels and G7 counterparts in Sicily. Also he will meet with President Macron of France, newly elected.

Separately on Friday, the administration informed Congress it will sell some $500 million in precision guided munitions to Saudi Arabia.