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World media in Saudi Arabia for Trump visit
May 20, 2017
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Riyadh: Media from around the globe have descended on Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, in anticipation of US President Donald Trump’s first overseas trip since taking office.
 
Trump, who will make Saudi Arabia the first overseas stop of his presidency on Saturday, is expected to give a speech about Islam to 50 leaders of Muslim countries at the summit.
 
A top Saudi cleric on Friday described as “blessed” an Islamic summit in Riyadh weekend to be attended by Muslim leaders and Trump.
 
In his Friday sermon, the imam of the Holy City of Makkah, Sheikh Saleh Bin Hamdi, praised the “blessed meeting that will bring together brothers and friends” on Sunday.
 
He urged participants “to show realism... and to stress the negative impact of interferences in regional affairs”, state news agency SPA reported him as saying.

On Friday Washington and Riyadh issued their first “joint terrorist designation” — blacklisting a Hizbollah leader.

Hashem Safieddine was described by US officials as a key member of the executive council of Hizbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese armed movement which Washington has branded a “foreign terrorist organisation.”

During the historic visit, Trump will meet leaders from more than 40 countries while attending three summits to develop strategies to bring the world closer together to cooperate against the threat of global terrorism and violent extremism. Trump will also attend the inauguration of the Global Centre for Countering Extremist Ideology.

Trump will hold talks with Saudi Arabia’s leadership to strengthen the ongoing cooperation in the areas of global security and counter terrorism and deepen bilateral trade ties to support the objectives of Vision 2030, the Saudi national transformation plan.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Dr Awwad Alawwad, Minister of Culture and Information said: “We look forward to working closely with the US president during this historic visit, and to unlocking new areas of mutually advantageous opportunities for the good of all.

“It is the time to change the conversation regarding the relationship between the US and the Islamic and Arab world. The Arab Islamic American summit is a significant step on the path to eradicating violent extremist ideology and terrorism around the globe.”

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a major trading partner and ally to the United States for over 80 years and choosing Saudi Arabia as the first overseas visit destination by President Trump reinforces the genuine depth of the relationship between the two nations, and recognises the importance of the role the Kingdom plays in the region and among Muslims globally.

“King Salman’s meeting with President Trump will deepen understanding of the political and security issues faced by both the Islamic nations and the United States, and the economic opportunities which exist between our two countries.”

Agencies

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