Trump visit boosts U.S. public opinion about Saudi Arabia


To be sure, however, there were many photo ops.

Another moment caught on camera that resulted in a lot of chatter on social media, was when the President attempted to hold the first lady's hand - and she seemingly rejected his pursuit.

That said, there is no doubt that the U.S. remains the indispensable power in the Middle East, and just about every state in the region relies heavily on the US' political support and protection. None of Trump's predecessors has had that kind of power and Trump has even less.

During his visit with the Saudi royal family during the weekend, the president signed agreements for about $110 billion in deals between the two countries.

On the relationship between the Arab states and Israel, Trump offered no recipe as to how they can reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

"In my meeting with my very good friend Benjamin, I can tell you also, that he is reaching for peace".

The Czech parliament approved on Wednesday the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which annexed the city in the 1967 war, in violation of the will of the global community and the wishes of the Palestinian residents of the city who live under increasing Israeli restrictions. But once he listened to the Israelis and Palestinians, he stated that "I've heard it's one of the toughest deals of all".

In Israel and the West Bank, he pointedly did not back America's long-standing support for a two-state solution to the intractable peace process.

He was not accompanied by any Israeli government officials, but was joined instead by his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, as well as Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich.

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The statements made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas that they are ready and willing to resume negotiations are old, tired, and inconsequential.

Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir also said, "If we can change the conversation in the Islamic world from enmity towards the partnership with the USA, and if we can change the conversation in the USA and in the West from enmity towards the Islamic world to one of partnership, we will have changed our world and we will have truly drowned the voices of extremism and we will have drained the swamps. from which extremism and terrorism emanates".

Netanyahu is not committed to a two-state solution, and Abbas is unable to make any concession and politically (if not physically) survive.

For once, it was not what President Trump said. He even attempted, unsuccessfully, to undermine Obama's efforts by circumventing the White House and addressing his objections directly to Congress.

"We are not here to lecture - we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship", Trump said. In their speeches at the Arab Islamic American Summit, both Trump and Saudi King Salman rebuked the Sunni Muslim kingdom's regional rival, Shiite-majority Iran, as a terror backer. Both sides will face tough decisions.

"Despite the anti-Iranian rhetoric, Trump will not annul the nuclear deal, although he, as many other Republicans, view it as a mistake". "This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations", Trump said in an about-face from his campaign rhetoric.

It is true that Tehran is deliberately destabilising the region by its support of terrorist organisations and by meddling in the Arabs' domestic affairs (Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen) to serve its hegemonic ambition. "Trump's anti-Iran stance is disappointing", he said. Tehran has been complying with all the provisions of the nuclear deal and it has just re-elected President Rouhani, who is a moderate and expressed on many occasions that he wants improve relations with the U.S. and the Arab states. Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian bishops, welcomed Trump's remarks, calling them "very, very frank", especially in light of several recent bombings, beheadings and other attacks claimed by the so-called Islamic State on Egyptian Christians and churches.

Missing from all of this was Iran, fresh from re-electing Hassan Rouhani, who has won a second term as president from a people apparently keen to build bridges with the West. Mr Trump has used this trip as a platform to ratchet up pressure on Iran, casting it as a common enemy.