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Donald Trump heads to Jerusalem and West Bank, leaving Saudi Arabia

Mon, 22.05.2017 12:40



After a busy two days in Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump travels to Israel on Monday, attempting to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process with visits to Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Trump is to meet separately with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visit holy sites. On Monday in Jerusalem, he will pray at the Western Wall and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Trump is on a nine-day trip through the Middle East and Europe that ends on Saturday after visits to the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily.

The president had received a warm welcome from Arab leaders, who focused on his desire to crack down on Iran's influence in the region, a commitment they found wanting in the Republican president's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

On Sunday, Saudi King Salman and Trump spoke of cooperation between the Muslim world and the US in order to halt terrorism and extremism in the world at the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh on Sunday.

“We will cooperate in ending terrorism and extremism in all its shapes and forms,” the king said, “Islam was and will continue to be a religion of tolerance and peace.”

Trump used his visit to Riyadh to bolster US ties with Arab and Islamic nations, announce $110 billion in US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and send Iran a tough message.

In his speech attended by dozens of Arab and Islamic leaders, he toned down the harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric he had employed during the presidential campaign last year in favor of trying to gain cooperation against Islamist militants.

"A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out," Trump said.

Trump said he was “honored to be received by such gracious hosts, King Salman, continuing King Abdulaziz’s legacy.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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