As his administration continues to battle with travel ban against immigrants from Muslim-dominated countries, Donald Trump has made unprecedented travel to Saudi Arabia.
Trump is set to make a major speech on Sunday, a speech that will be listened to by Muslim-dominated countries. Among the key issues expected to be handled include fighting extremism as a “battle between good and evil”. The President will also call upon Arab leaders to eradicate terrorists from their worship places.
Donald Trump’s campaign landmark was hard line stand on Islam, a stand that he is expected to take a soft look at. As much as Trump always criticized his opponent for not using the words “radical Islam terrorism”, his draft lacks such a phrase.
Trump in Saudi Arabia
The speech comes at a time when relationship with United States’ Arab allies is on the verge of renewal. U.S. President held a number of meetings with leaders from several nations including Qatar and Egypt. He proceeded to take part in a roundtable with the Gulf Cooperation Council after which he joined Saudi King Salman to open a new anti-terrorism center.
He held a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in which U.S. ties with the country were underpinned. Trump applauded Mr. el-Sissi on the April release of Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi. The former had been detained in the country for almost three years.
“You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible,” said El-Sissi in reference to Trump.
Will Trump stick to the script?
White House briefers have noted that President Trump’s keynote speech will be an uplifting, inspirational and unifying one. The main agenda of the speech will be an urge on governments to eradicate religious intolerance.
The speech may be a two-way traffic. If he sticks to the script and give the impression that his administration is supportive and collegiate, it should pass without incident.
Similarly, he decides to utter the words ‘radical Islam terrorism’ as he did throughout the campaign period then that will most definitely raise considerable offense.
The stakes are high here considering Saudi Arabia is both the birthplace of Islam and home to the two most sacred pilgrimage sites for the millions who make the journey every year. The speech will be keenly watched all over the world.
As things are at the moment, the speech has been designed not to address matters on democracy and human rights. These are topics in which the Arab leaders consider the United States to be moralizing and so Trump will major on peace and stability.
“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,” reads a section of the speech. This is a draft seen by AP and White House already confirmed it authentic. It also cautioned that the President is yet to sign it into the final product.