US President Donald Trump addressed the media on his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, which is his first overseas trip since he was elected to the post. His speech appears to be an attempt to reset his relationships with a religion in the region which he severely criticised as a presidential candidate. His address mainly comprised of ‘Islamic terrorism’ and how other countries, including India, are affected by it. Trump implored Middle Eastern countries to extinguish ‘Islamic extremism” which has been emancipating from the area. Interestingly, he described the situation as a ‘battle between good and evil’ rather than a West-Islam clash. After the conclusion of his Saudi visit, Trump will be travelling to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican. On his visit to the holy places in the three Abrahamic Faiths, he said, “If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible – including peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
In the Saudi address, Trump condemned ‘Islamic extremism’, ‘Islamists’ and ‘Islamic terror’, according to his speech telecasted on various TV channels. Interestingly, Trump in his 2016 US campaign had been pressing on the belief that ‘Islam hates us’, which became highly infamous across the globe. He had even criticised his predecessor Barack Obama for not using the term ‘radical Islamic extremism’, saying that he did not understand US’ enemy, according to various reports. However, Trump himself refrained from using the term. He went on to say that Islam was ‘one of the world’s greatest faiths.
Here are a few things Donald Trump said in his speech:
1. The US President said, “Few nations have been spared the violent reach of terrorism. America has suffered repeated barbaric attacks from the atrocities of September 11 to the devastation of the Boston bombings to the horrible killings in San Bernardino and Orlando. The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and South America. India, Russia, China, and Australia have all been victims.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2017
2. Trump also urged leaders of the Middle East to combat a “crisis of Islamic extremism” that has emerged from the region. He said the fight against terrorism was a “battle between good and evil” and not a clash between the West and Islam.
3. On how Middle-Eastern countries are combating terrorism:
Many are already making significant contributions to regional security: Jordanian pilots are crucial partners against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition have taken strong action against Houthi militants in Yemen. The Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory. Emirati troops are supporting our Afghan partners. In Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias fighting together for their homeland. Qatar, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, is a crucial strategic partner. Our longstanding partnership with Kuwait and Bahrain continue to enhance security in the region. And courageous Afghan soldiers are making tremendous sacrifices in the fight against the Taliban, and others, in the fight for their country.
4. On the other countries in the region:
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror. It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”
5. “We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.” Trump added, “Instead, we are here to offer partnership, based on shared interests and values, to pursue a better future for us all.”
6. Trump said that it was the Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern nations where the death toll had been the highest, saying the “humanitarian and security disaster” that started from this region is now spreading across the world.
7. “The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.”
8. We have signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.
9. For Americans, this is an exciting time. A new spirit of optimism is sweeping our country: in just a few months, we have created almost a million new jobs, added over 3 trillion dollars of new value, lifted the burdens on American industry, and made record investments in our military that will protect the safety of our people and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies
10. Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption….Above all, America seeks peace – not war.