Trump leaves on maiden foreign trip; to visit Saudi Arabia, 4 other nations

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

President Donald Trump today left on a nine-day maiden overseas trip during which he will visit five countries and is expected to push for his agenda of boosting US economy, bringing peace in conflict-prone zones of the world and calling for greater security cooperation.

Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican, Belgium and Italy during his visit with the defeat of ISIS topping his agenda.

“Getting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be strongly protecting American interests – that’s what I like to do!” Trump told his nearly 30 million followers on Tweeter hours before he boarded Air Force One along with his top officials and a battery of White House reporters from Joint Andrews Air Force Base.

In Saudi Arabia, the first stop of his trip, Trump will address leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries with the message of peace and calling for a partnership with the Islamic world.

The leaders of the Muslim world – including those from Afghanistan and Pakistan – would be asked to sign a pledge to make it illegal in their countries to raise funds for extremist and terrorist groups.

Senior administration officials said the US later would hold these countries accountable if there is any violation of the pledge.

However, a major highlight of his trip would be his address to the Muslim world.

“The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilisation and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners,” his National Security Adviser Lt General H R McMaster said ahead of the trip.

McMaster said Trump will also participate in a signing ceremony of several agreements that will further solidify US- Saudi security and economic cooperation.

According to senior administration officials, agreements are expected to cross a whopping $500 billion in all, with security co-operation alone accounting for $300 billion.


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