Trump slams Iran in first foreign speech

Elias Hubbard
May 22, 2017

The women attending the event with Ivanka Trump were local leaders, representing the first public women-only university in Saudi Arabia and top positions within the Chamber of Commerce and business founders, the Washington Post reported.

From Saudi Arabia, Trump will head to Israel for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The leaders will be listening closely to Mr Trump's words, anxious he may repeat some of the rhetoric he has used about Islam in the past - including in March a year ago during his campaign when he said "Muslims hate us".

White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump say the system, which was last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's most recent tests.

"America is prepared to stand with you - in pursuit of shared interests and common security".

"This is a battle between those who seek to obliterate human life and those who seek to protect it".

He said Mr Sisi had "done a tremendous job under trying circumstances".

"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, speaking in an ornate room that featured 11 chandeliers and six giant video screens.

Trump smirked and bopped to the beat as he made his way through the crowd.

Saudi Arabia is an unprecedented destination for an initial overseas visit by any USA president, but the oil-rich nation, which has deep, long-standing energy and defense ties to the United States, was not included in Trump's travel ban edict.

"Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted.We have enuf enemies", Trump tweeted in January 2015.

"So I think that once again, you've seen the nationalist anti-globalists in the White House lose out.And I think he's back in the mainstream, certainly rhetorically, in the way he's approaching the Muslim religion".

Before his victory and after taking office, Trump repeatedly bashed former President Barack Obama and then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for not using the phrase. In his most forceful argument on Sunday, Trump exhorted Muslim-majority countries to do more to eradicate terrorist groups that claim the mantle of Islam, urging Muslims to "drive out" terrorists. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, renowned for its glitzy gold interior and where the first family is staying, projected five-story images of Trump and Salman across the building's exterior prior to the president's arrival.

Delivering the speech here in Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam's two holiest sites, Trump sought to push past his campaign rhetoric - including a statement in March 2016 that "Islam hates us" - but will still be dogged by the efforts his administration continues to carry out.

Trump also signed an agreement with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates - on terrorism financing. The US president's decision to make Riyadh his first official port of call has been well received with the kingdom's decision makers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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