Saudi Arabia counting down the seconds until Trump arrives

Saudi Arabia counting down the seconds until Trump arrives

"He (Trump) will meet and have lunch with leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries where he will deliver an inspiring, yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and his hopes, the president hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate across the world", US National Security Advisor HR McMaster told reporters during at the White House yesterday.

Reuters reported last week that Washington was pushing through contracts for tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, some new, others already in the pipeline, ahead of Trump's visit.

"There is nothing "veiled" about a press release titled 'Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, '" U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson wrote in March, linking directly to a December 2015 statement that was still available on Trump's campaign website at the time. All of the GCC countries except Oman are part of a Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing an Iranian-allied faction in Yemen for more than two years.

Given Mr Trump's contradictory statements about Muslims leading up to his election last November, this summit will be an important chance for the new president to hear about the perspectives from the Muslim world about the challenges facing the global community. He's also set to hold a separate session with the rulers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

After Saudi Arabia, Trump would visit Jerusalem, where he will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visit the Vad Yashem memorial to the Holocaust. Both support an aggressive war against the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

Coinciding with the visit is a business forum Saturday in Riyadh with CEOs from companies like GE and Dow Chemical. New licenses for US companies to operate in the Kingdom also will be issued.

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Elliott Abrams, a former senior official in the Bush and Reagan administrations, addressed this issue recently, saying on a podcast published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that "it will be interesting to see when he [Trump] takes off from Saudi Arabia whether he needs to make believe he's flying to Jordan".

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 USA interests".

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

Riyadh - A delegation from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the Saudi government was assuming a positive role in penitentiaries and prisons, stressing that the Saudi authorities did not reject the Commissioner's demand to visit the prisons.

The Post, citing unnamed officials, said Trump went off script during the meeting, describing details about an Islamic State terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on airplanes, revealing the city where the information was gathered. World stock exchanges are vying for slices of Aramco's initial public offering, expected to be the largest in history, with Hong Kong now the frontrunner among bourses in Asia because of its strategic links to key Saudi oil importer China.

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