US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Kingdom this weekend will reinforce the “strategic partnership” between Riyadh and Washington and boost their joint fight against terrorism, the Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has said.
Trump’s visit to Riyadh, the first stop on his maiden international trip since taking office in January, will include concluding political and commercial agreements with Saudi Arabia, Al-Jubeir told a press conference in Riyadh, Thursday.
“It (Trump’s visit) will bolster the strategic partnership between the two countries,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia agrees with the US administration’s view in relation to the role of the United States in the world and in relation to uprooting terrorism,” he added, referring to the hardline Daesh (the so-called IS) group and Al-Qaeda.
Jubeir said Riyadh and Washington were discussing several “initiatives” related to arms sales, economic and security cooperation and tackling terrorism.
“Several agreements will be signed, whether political agreements… and big economic agreements,” he said.
Riyadh backs Trump’s efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and also agrees with Washington on “confronting Iran’s aggressive policies and its support for terrorism”, he said.
Saudi Arabia will be seeking assurances that the Trump administration will continue its harsher tone toward Iran and keep up pressure, through both rhetoric and action, to stop Tehran’s destabilizing activities in the region.
The Trump administration has heavily criticized the West’s nuclear agreement with Iran that was backed by Barack Obama. Senior administration officials have also criticized Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, its ballistic missile activities and backing for militant groups in the region.
Apart from Saudi officials, Trump will also meet leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and have lunch with leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia will use the opportunity of this gathering to increase cooperation with countries opposing Daesh, Jubeir said. He said Saudi Arabia was not concerned about sharing intelligence with the United States, despite a storm over reports that Trump had discussed intelligence with Russia during a White House meeting last week.
“We share a very, very large amount of intelligence with the United States and vice versa,” Al-Jubeir said. “We have had no hesitation about doing so and we will not have any hesitation about continuing to do so.”
Al-Jubair affirmed that history will remember that the summit is a turning point from a strained relationship to a strategic partnership between the Islamic world, the United States and the Western world. “We will work together to bring peace, develop societies and fight terrorism and extremism.”
He said the first foreign visit of Trump to the Kingdom and his participation in the first Arab-Islamic-US Summit reflects a positive and deep indication of working together to defuse tensions in the region, encouraging the followers of different divine religions, and clarifying the human values which include justice, equality and peace among peoples.
Al-Jubair said that the Arab-Islamic-US Summit will open a new chapter of partnership and cooperation in confronting extremism and combating terrorism, as well as building a mutual partnership in several areas. — Agencies
Iran vote ‘internal’ matter
Iran’s election on Friday is its own concern, Saudi Arabia said ahead of an “unprecedented” summit between US President Donald Trump and dozens of Muslim nations excluding Iran.
“That’s an internal Iranian matter,” Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told journalists when asked his expectations for Friday’s presidential vote in Iran.
“When we look at Iran’s policy, we don’t look at personalities. We look at actions,” said Al-Jubeir, repeating allegations about Iran’s “aggressive” behavior in the Middle East.
President Hassan Rohani faces a tough battle for re-election against hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who has called for a much tougher stance against the West and says a 2015 nuclear deal has not improved the lives of the poor.
It lifted international sanctions in exchange for guarantees that Tehran will not pursue a nuclear weapons capability.
The agreement, between the US under former president Barack Obama, five other world powers, and Tehran, was viewed with suspicion by Riyadh.
Rohani made the deal a centerpiece of his efforts to end Iran’s isolation and rebuild its economy with foreign investment.
“We have seen Iran’s record of aggression increase not decrease” since the nuclear pact, Al-Jubeir said, citing the country’s support for “terrorism” and efforts to destabilize other countries.
Al-Jubeir said Trump has been “very clear about the need to push back against Iran.”
On Sunday, Trump will join Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and other Muslim leaders for the summit that aims to combat extremism and promote moderation, Al-Jubeir said. — AFP
‘Together We Prevail’: Riyadh hosts 3 summits with Trump
IN an unprecedented political event, Riyadh will host three summits on Saturday and Sunday, under the motto “Together We Prevail;” the three summits will be attended by US President Donald Trump, who will kick off his first overseas tour from Riyadh.
The three summits advertised under the slogan “Together We Prevail” are hosted by Riyadh, to reaffirm the sh
ared commitment to global security, profound economic partnerships and to enforce the determination for constructive political and cultural cooperation.
Riyadh will hold three summit meetings, the first will be between Saudi Arabia and the United States; the second summit will be between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States, and the third is the Arab-American Islamic Summit to deepen historical ties on the basis of partnership and tolerance.
The initiative relies on solid bases with Saudi Arabia’s unified effort and strategic coordination with Washington and the Islamic world to combat terrorism. Riyadh is taking upon itself the task of winning the intellectual war and defeating terrorism through tolerance and moderation.
Saudi Arabia recognizes that economic interdependence is key. Diversification and modernization are at the heart of the solid business partnerships and common benefits opening wide economic opportunities between Saudi Arabia, the United States and Islamic countries.
This alliance in turn will create a vital foundation of investment for the children and generations to come through the provision of economic opportunities both internally and externally.
The three summits will be accompanied by preparations and substantive initiatives to strengthen the commitment of Saudi Arabia, Washington, and Arab countries to consolidate the future of security and peace in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
It is also an important opportunity to present the economic growth opportunities of the Saudi Kingdom, as well as demonstrate the strength of the strategic partnership not only with Washington but with Arab and Islamic countries around the world. It will also serve as a launching platform for all American, Arab and Muslim partners to take bold new steps to promote peace and confront those who seek to spread chaos and violence throughout the Muslim world and beyond. — Al Arabiya English