Saudis, UAE Donating $100M To Ivanka Women's Initiative

Andrew Cummings
May 27, 2017

In using the headline address of his first foreign trip as president to declare his commitment to Sunni Arab nations, Mr Trump signalled a return to a U.S. policy built on alliances with Arab autocrats.

His first stop was a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday cited a lack of protests against President Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia as evidence of a "genuinely good mood" on the first leg of his foreign trip. "He changed the nature of the dialogue between the Muslim world and the United States".

During Trump's first stop on his four-nation tour, the Saudis pledged to spend billions on infrastructure projects in the US and military equipment but the arms deal has raised red flags in Israel.

The White House has said it doesn't expect any sort of breakthrough on the peace process on this trip.

"We thought it was a fantastic idea", Kim said.

"We are picking one side in this geopolitical struggle, and there is very little room for grey", said Mr Frederic Wehrey, a senior fellow in the Middle East Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Over the weekend, Trump visited Saudi Arabia, where he signed a series of arms deals totaling a record $110 billion.

Asked about the possibility of direct talks with the U.S. over the mutual issues, the Iranian President said that "we are waiting for the USA new administration to settle, so that we could have accurate view about the ruling group in Washington".

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official relations but both have expressed serious concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions. And we also believe that, if force was the only riposte to extremism, the U.S. would not still be engaged outside its national border grappling with it.

Netanyahu said he hoped an Israeli prime minister could soon make the same flight. He has taken a tougher line on settlements than Israeli officials had expected, urging restraint but though not calling for a full halt to construction.

Palestinians, who viewed Trump's victory with some trepidation, are said to have been pleasantly surprised by Trump's openness during a recent meeting with Abbas in Washington.

Welcoming Trump, Netanyahu said, "I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners". For Trump, the trip is a reprieve from the crush of controversies that have marred his young presidency and an attempt to reset his relationship with a region and a religion he fiercely criticized a candidate.

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