Trump's Saudi Weapons Deal May Worry Israel


After two days of meetings in Saudi Arabia, Trump was scheduled to travel to Israel, meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and join the world's major industrial nations at a Group of Seven gathering in Sicily.

"Instead, we are here to offer partnership based on shared interests and values to pursue a better future for us all", Trump said. The groups that the United States has been fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere since the September 11, 2001 attacks on Washington and NY are mostly Sunni Muslims, and enemies of Iran.The United States and Gulf Arab countries announced agreement to coordinate efforts against the financing of terrorist groups. In a June 2016 posting on Facebook, Trump said, "Saudi Arabia and numerous countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays".

The US is prepared to stand with those leaders in the fight against extremists but that those countries must take the lead, Trump said in his speech. But on Sunday he avoided that kind of Islamophobic rhetoric, and specifically the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism", which he had often trumpeted at rallies.

USA president Donald Trump singled out Iran in a major speech on Islam yesterday, accusing the Shi'ite country of fuelling the "fires of sectarian conflict and terror" in the Middle East.

"Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve", he said in a speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit.

In a joint news conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, Tillerson urged newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to dismantle his country's "network of terrorism" and end "ballistic missile testing".

Trump's speech was light on the causes of terrorism (economic, religious, or historical), but he spent several minutes focused on a key enemy of the United States and his Saudi hosts: Iran.

But on Sunday, Trump was full of praise for the Muslim world's history and culture.

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On Sunday, however, standing before dozens of regional leaders, he said Islam was "one of the world's great faiths". Mr. Obama called for understanding and acknowledged some of America's missteps in the region.

"America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens", Trump said. That speech was denounced by many Republicans and criticized by a number of the United States' Middle East allies as being a sort of apology.

Immediately after the speech, the Hamas militant group lashed out at Trump for mentioning it with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in his speech in Saudi Arabia. He dubbed the speech a "confirmation" that Trump is following the policy of previous administrations.

Mr Trump's remarks came in a meeting with dozens of regional leaders who gathered in Riyadh for a summit with the USA president and Saudi King Salman.

"But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong - and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden".

Trump's speech also comes as he and his administration have continued to defend the executive order barring visitors to the USA from six Muslim-majority countries, which the administration is seeking to reinstate in litigation after it was blocked by federal judges.

Both the original order and a second directive that dropped Iraq from the banned list have been blocked by the courts.