Published: Sun, May 21, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Trump Trip: President Meets With Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait


A Sunday meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi underscored the kinship, with Trump saluting his counterpart on the April release of Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi, who had been detained in the country for almost three years.

The $110 billion deal for Saudi purchases of U.S. defence equipment and services came at the start of an eight-day foreign tour that will take Trump also to Jerusalem, the Vatican and meetings with leaders in Europe.

It comes on the second day of a visit to Saudi Arabia, part of an eight-day foreign tour - Trump's first since taking office - that will take him next to Israel and the Palestinian Territories and then to Europe. ".Tremendous investments into the United States and our military community is very happy and we want to thank you and Saudi Arabia...hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs".

A senior Israeli Cabinet minister has voiced concern about the U.S.'s $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

The trip had been billed by the White House as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while giving Mr Trump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

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Saudi Aramco will sign initial accords and joint-venture agreements valued at about US$50 billion with companies including General Electric Co, Schlumberger Ltd and Halliburton Co, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told reporters in Riyadh.

The Emir of Kuwait also invited the president to visit.

Trump said that Washington's relations with Bahrain were set to improve and also said that he would accept an invitation made by the Egyptian president to visit Egypt. Trump said the visit would happen before long.

In a meeting with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, Trump declared that the two nations had a lot in common and that despite previous tensions, "there won't be strain with this administration".

The potion of the meeting open to reporters did not include any discussion of human rights in Qatar.

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The revelation was compounded by leaks from the White House that Mr Trump told Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting that Mr Comey was a "real nut job", a day after the President fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation boss.

Sharif will also join world leaders to attend the inauguration ceremony of the World Center Against Extremism, a counter-radicalisation initiative by the Saudi government.

Aides have said the speech, given in the cradle of Islam, will be "uplifting" but also "blunt" in its call for leaders of Muslim countries to take a stand against violent fundamentalism.

Delivering the speech here in Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam's two holiest sites, Trump will look to push past his campaign rhetoric - including a statement in March 2016 that "Islam hates us" - but will still be dogged by the efforts his administration continues to carry out.

Though during the campaign Trump repeatedly stressed the need to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism", that phrase is not included in the draft.

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