Saudi, UAE pledge $100 mln to Ivanka Trump womens' fund

Elias Hubbard
May 24, 2017

The president seeks to pay homage to the three Abrahamic religions.

"Just when Iranians voted overwhelmingly for openness and engagement with the world, Trump clenched his fist and responded by calling for Iran's isolation", said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council.

"Terrorists do not worship God". But addressing the leaders of 55 Muslim-majority countries, Trump said the meeting marked a "new chapter" that would bring lasting benefits for citizens of the United States and those of the countries being represented at the meeting.

He followed with a sobering warning: "Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory".

Terming the fight against terrorism as a "battle between good and evil", and not a clash between "the West and Islam", Mr Trump sought to chart a new course for America's role in the region - aimed at rooting out terrorism.

Trump's "America first" philosophy helped him win the 2016 election and has rattled allies who depend on U.S. support for their defense. "But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land", he said in Saudi Arabia, the first stop on a nine-day tour that includes Israel, Italy and Belgium.

A fund for women entrepreneurs proposed by Ivanka Trump will reportedly receive $100 million from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The approach was also created to contrast with former president Barack Obama, whom Mr Trump has criticised for his handling of the fight against ISIS. "We must practice tolerance and respect for each other once again-and make this region a place where every man and woman, no matter their faith or ethnicity, can enjoy a life of dignity and hope", he said. "This is a battle between Good and Evil", the president said. It remains to be seen whether Mr Trump's speech will gain the same kind of impact that Mr Obama made in his remarks in Cairo in 2009. His flight on Air Force One was believed to be the first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel, nations that do not have diplomatic relations.

In the same speech where Trump urged the Gulf nations to unite and fight against "terrorist and extremists", he isolated out Iran for fuelling "the fires of sectarian conflict and terror".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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