Trump to give speech on Islamic faith in Saudi Arabia

The conference will focus on ways to enhance cooperation between the United States and the Muslim world.

Along the lines of building Israeli-Gulf relations, and perhaps as a way of signaling that if Gulf countries - first and foremost Saudi Arabia - should sign peace treaties with Israel before the Palestinians do, Riyadh should expect royal treatment from Washington.

He will address the summit on his "hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam", the White House said Tuesday.

Critics of the deal say it has left Washington and the worldwide community unable to enforce United Nations-passed efforts to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.

The US president will start his first ever foreign tour by visiting the Saudi capital on Friday and then will leave for Israel on Monday.

"The speech is meant to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America's commitment to our Muslim partners", he added.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations also recorded "unprecedented levels" of anti-Muslim incidents and attacks against mosques across the US. The president portrayed his Middle East visit as an attempt to build interfaith cooperation among Muslims, Christians and Jews to fight terrorism.


Trump has been a staunch opponent of the Iran nuclear deal as it was negotiated under his predecessor, President Barack Obama, despite the Republican Party's opposition. Iran, for its part, has criticized Saudi Arabia for "bad behavior" but said it is not looking to increase tensions with the kingdom.

"This (new) administration comes in and ... says, "No, wait a minute, Iran is active, '" the official said, referring to Gulf states" views of Iran's involvement through proxies in regional conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.

The U.S. Congress previous year passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, a law permitting lawsuits holding Saudi Arabia responsible for the attacks.

The US was close to completing a series of deals to sell Saudi Arabia arms and related maintenance worth $100 billion, said a Reuters report, citing a senior White House official.

The Houthi rebels, a Sunni separatist sect in the country backed by Iran, ousted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi from power in 2015.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told CNBC in March his government believed US infrastructure, in particular, was an attractive investment.

The administration has claimed the proposal doesn't constitute a "Muslim ban".


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