Trump to give speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia


The package is being developed to coincide with Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia welcomes President Donald Trump and leaders from across the Islamic world and the United States for a historic meeting on May 20-21.

But US ties with Riyadh and its Gulf neighbours became increasingly frayed during the administration of president Barack Obama.

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.

Besides Saudi Arabia, Trump's first foreign trip will also include visits to Israel, the Vatican, Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and Sicily for a Group of Seven summit. In 2015, then head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Dore Gold met retired Saudi general Anwar Eshki, who later visited Israel.

The two executive actions, which have been widely seen as a "Muslim ban" and blocked by courts, temporarily ban people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority countries and follow the president's campaign promise to ban all Muslims from entering the country.

The Egyptian president began his tour April 23 in Saudi Arabia.

Then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: "Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests". The Saudi government has long denied involvement.

McMaster failed to answer a direct question as to whether the USA government considers the Western Wall to be within Israeli territory, and he said Israeli leaders would not accompany him on his visit to the site in Jerusalem's Old City.

Trump could announce a major arms sale to the Saudis and discuss the conflicts in Yemen and Syria as well as concerns about Iran's destabilizing activities in the region.

Mustafa Alani, the director of security and defense at the Jeddah-based Gulf Research Center think tank, said that beyond US rhetoric, Gulf leaders would like to see "America classify Iranian-supported militias as terrorist groups".

Riyadh's efforts to defeat the Houthis via devastating air power - which has reportedly included the use of cluster bombs banned under the worldwide rules of war - prompted the Obama administration to keep the conflict at arm's length.

A resolution "is frankly maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years", Trump said after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this month.

Trump is to also hold a bilateral summit with Saudi Arabia and talks with the GCC on Saturday. During his visit, the president will meet with Saudi officials, as well as members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

When President Donald Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an "Arab NATO", to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran.

In addition, Riyadh will also witness the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCEII), which counters and prevents the spread of extremist ideology through promoting moderation, compassion and supporting the dissemination of positive dialogue. Traditional Wahhabi doctrine is ultra-conservative, imposing a strict version of Islamic law and urging resumption of early Muslim practices.

On Oct. 11, US forces launched multiple strikes against targets inside Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen in retaliation for two missile attacks against USA warships operating off of the Yemeni coastline.

After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business.

General Electric Co GE.N is due to sign several memoranda of understanding.

The NYSE delegation will have tough competition as rival exchanges tweak regulation to become more attractive options.