Trump went to Saudi Arabia to unite the Islamic world
WASHINGTON, may 20 — RIA Novosti, Tatyana Kalmykova. The President of the United States Donald trump is starting his first foreign visit since taking office. Saudi Arabia will become the first country he will visit. Then he will go to Israel, the Palestinian authority, the Vatican and Italy, and will also participate in the NATO summit in Brussels and the summit “the Big seven” in Sicily.
In Riyadh he will hold bilateral talks with the king of Saudi Arabia, and will also participate in the meeting with the heads of six Arabian monarchies within the cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, and in the summit of leaders of Arab and Muslim countries.
As noted by the foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubeir, Riyadh and Washington will sign the political agreement and major contracts during the visit trump.
As reported RIA Novosti, the ex-US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2007-2009), President of the Council on policy in the middle East Ford Fraker, it will be “incredibly important visit,” and is “a clear signal that the new administration appreciates and understands the importance of relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries”.
With hope for understanding
The permanent representative of the Kingdom to the UN, Abdullah al-Moallem told RIA Novosti that while in Saudi Arabia, “there is no understanding that he (trump) is going to offer.” However, he expressed hope that the parties “reached a greater understanding”.
According to al-Moallem, the relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States “can survive the UPS and downs,” but “the General direction of these relations aimed at further strengthening”.
“We expect relations between the US and Saudi Arabia will further strengthen under the presidency of trump. We believe that the choice of Riyadh as the first city outside the U.S. to visit is very important. It is a signal that the United States attaches importance to the relations with Saudi Arabia and with the Muslim world,” he added.
The President of the United States, announcing his trip, said that his visit to Saudi Arabia will help to lay the foundations for the fight against terrorism.
“This is really historic meeting in Saudi Arabia with leaders of the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia — the custodian of the two holiest places of Islam, and that is where we will start with our allies, to Muslims to create a new Foundation of cooperation and support to combat extremism, terrorism and violence,” said trump.
The American leader said that “cause” leaders of Muslim States “in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism and extremism and to emphasize the peaceful nature of their faith”.
As noted by the foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, “the first ever summit of the leaders of the United States and Muslim countries is a clear indication of the desire of the Islamic world and the West to establish a positive dialogue and partnership relations between the Muslim world and the United States and the West in General.”
According to him, participation in the “historic meeting” confirmed 37 the leaders of Arab and Muslim countries and six heads of state, and such a large number of participants spoke about the unprecedented summit.
The king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud expressed hope that the summit between U.S. President and the leaders of Arab and Muslim countries in Riyadh will lay the foundations for a new partnership in the face of terrorism.
According to a Saudi analyst on international Affairs Hisami al-Panama, trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia means preparing for the establishment of a kind of Union between the United States and Gulf countries opposed to Iran’s efforts to influence the Arab world. “The views of the United States and Gulf countries on the priorities match, including fighting terrorism and countering Iran supports the Shiite groups,” the analyst said in an interview to Sky News Arabia.
After the visit, as reported by the foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh opens center to combat terrorism. Details of the center are still unknown.
On the eve of the visit to Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post reported that trump will present in Riyadh and its plan of establishment of an Arab organization for the type of NATO — structures for regional security, the Foundation of which will be one of the largest in the history of transactions for the supply of weapons.
According to her, the administration of the trump and the Saudi authorities “behind the scenes” led large scale negotiations, headed by the son of a US President and his Advisor Jared Kushner on the one hand and Deputy crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman al Saud on the other. Discussions began shortly after the US elections, when the Saudi delegation was sent to meet with Kouchner and other officials in the Trump Tower.
According to the newspaper, citing White house officials, during the first meetings of the Saudi side presented a number of projects to enhance cooperation in the field of security and in the sphere of economy and investment. One of the main goals of recent weeks was the promotion of basic principles for a unified coalition of Sunni countries that would serve as a basis for a more formal structure resembling that of NATO.
According to the Washington Post, the idea of an “Arab NATO” was discussed over the years and always had the support of the Saudi side, however, the American government has still not openly shared it. According to the project, potential coalition will include primarily the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, the United States will play an organizational role, staying outside the Alliance.
The most specific part of the plan at the moment is a major deal for the supply of American arms to Saudi Arabia, which, according to the newspaper, trump will also announce during his visit to Riyadh.
According to officials, the amount of the contract is estimated at between 98-128 billion. The final delivery for the upcoming ten years can reach $ 350 billion.
The deal includes the supply of warships of the coastal zone (LCS, Littoral Combat Ship), THAAD anti-missile systems, armoured personnel carriers, missiles, bombs and equipment, the sources said. The manufacture and Assembly of certain items can be transferred to the territory in Saudi Arabia, however, most goods are produced by firms that carry out orders of the Pentagon.
However, while this idea was not met with great enthusiasm by the Saudi partners. Thus, in the opinion of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Adil al-Jubeir, the conversation about creating a military Alliance like NATO among the Arab countries and the United States is “premature.”
“There are reflections on this subject, there is a conversation on strengthening efforts to create structures related to security in the region, but it is too early to talk about anything specific,” said al-Jubeir.
He recalled that the Gulf countries are cooperating in the field of security and have a shared response force, as well as cooperation in the field of safety exists between the Arabian monarchies and the United States.
Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2007-2009), President of the Council on policy in the middle East Ford Fraker told RIA Novosti that the challenges that may arise in the negotiations trump with Saudi colleagues can relate to “technical issues”.
In particular, “what specific support can be offered and what are the mechanisms for its provision”. “I think it will be more of a logistics challenge, but I don’t think there’s any political challenges,”-said the Agency interlocutor.
A former American diplomat also noted that at some point the conversation will concern Syria.
“Because while a bit unclear what the US policy on Syria. So this needs to be clarified. I don’t think it will necessarily be some disagreements with Saudi Arabia or Arab countries, while currently unknown, what are the next steps,” said Fraker.
He stressed that “this is an incredibly important visit,” and, in his opinion, it would be “very successful.”