Addressing leaders of 40 Muslim nations in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital, on Sunday May 22, Donald Trump the, US president moved away from anti-Islamic rhetoric of campaigns byvowing to meet “history’s great test” by conquering extremism with the help of countries who have suffered most from it.
He instead pledged not to “lecture” or “tell other people how to live … or how to worship”.
Donald Trump used his much-anticipated speech on Islam as a rallying call for global cooperation rooted in reform, trade and faith.
In Riyadh, Trump’s address won immediate plaudits from Leaders in the room, applauded Trump’s acknowledgment that “Arab Muslim nations had borne the brunt of the killing” in the age of Islamic extremism.
“Terrorism has spread across the world. But, the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land. America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security,” he said.
The American president added that “the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.”
Urging Muslim countries to take the lead in the fight against terrorism, Trump asked Muslim nations to take on the burden if we are going to defeat terrorism, “Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil?”
Trump framed the US position towards the region as one of “principled realism, rooted in common values and shared interests. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes – not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms – not sudden intervention.”
Trump said US officials and private businesses had booked close to $450bn (£350bn) in deals during his visit, which he had billed as a package deal, offering trade and legitimacy, in return for lucrative agreements that would create US jobs.
Both Trump and the Saudi King attacked Iran. Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia came on the same weekend as a presidential election was held in Iran where the moderate leader Hassan Rouhani was re-elected for a second term.
Donald Trump is expected in Israel, the second stop over of his eight day trip across the middle east and Europe.