U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia will reinforce the partnership between the two countries in combating militancy and in bolstering trade and commercial agreements, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Thursday.
Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia will reinforce the "strategic partnership" between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. while boosting their joint fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the kingdom's foreign minister has said.
On an official website, a countdown clock is ticking away ahead of a joint Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh - an event the Saudis hope will reassert their primacy as a lead actor in the Middle East. They see our economy really about to take off. The kingdom backs efforts to topple the Syrian government, which counts Iran and Russian Federation as its closest allies.
During the visit, Trump is expected to hold bilateral talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and to participate in the meeting of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Arab monarchies.
The Sunni-ruled kingdom views Shia-ruled Iran's influence in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iraq as a danger to its security. Officials say the message is "unity". Trump is scheduled to address the Twitter event, where Fox's Baier will also be a speaker. On the day of the concert, Trump is expected to deliver a speech about Islam. Trump, whose denunciations of Iran have been welcomed by the Saudis, wants to frame the conflict not as one between the West and Islam, but simply between good and evil, according to his aides. In 2015, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was publicly lashed as part of a 10-year prison sentence for posts critical of the country's ultraconservative clerics.
He added that the visit carries many important messages, as it is the first visit overseas by Trump after he assumed his presidency, and is expected to constitute new breakthroughs in strengthening economic relations and developing trade exchanges between the two friendly countries.
Saudi Arabia governs by following a strict interpretation of Islamic law which prohibits alcohol, segregates unrelated men and women in public places, and severely restricts the basic rights of females, who, for instance, are not allowed to drive cars in the country.
The last president to take longer before traveling overseas was Lyndon B. Johnson, who waited more than 10 months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 before visiting Canada.