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Trump to address Islamic leaders in Saudi



Trump in Saudi Arabia
Trump in Saudi Arabia

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to underline the need to confront extremism in Islam when he makes a speech in Saudi Arabia later on Sunday.

His address, to a summit of regional leaders, will come on the second day of his first presidential trip abroad.

It is expected he will attempt to strike a collaborative tone in attempts to bolster support for the U.S. fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

On Saturday, the U.S. signed trade deals of $350bn (£270bn) with Saudi Arabia.

This included the largest arms deal ever made in U.S. history, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said was aimed at countering the “malign” influence of Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

But the president’s visit has been overshadowed by his political difficulties at home, namely the fallout over his sacking of FBI chief James Comey.

Mr Trump caused controversy during his campaign by calling for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the U.S. over security concerns. Legislation aimed at restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries remains tied up in the U.S. courts.

According to a report by CNN, the same man who wrote the travel ban – adviser Stephen Miller – has written Mr Trump’s speech about Islam.

The Associated Press agency, which was given copies of the speech by two sources, said the speech aimed to cast extremism as a battle between good and evil.

AP said Mr Trump will say: “We are not here to lecture, to tell other peoples how to live, what to do or who to be. We are here instead to offer partnership in building a better future for us all.”

Mr Trump has made a number of controversial comments about Islam, including suggesting he would be open to creating a database of all the Muslims in the U.S., linking the religion with violence.

He has also criticised other politicians for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” – a phrase which, according to advisers quoted in the U.S. media, will not feature in the speech.

Read more: BBC

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