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Trump, Saudi Arabia in Mutual Embrace
Local Editor

US President Donald Trump may not be popular in much of the Muslim world but he has been warmly embraced by Saudi Arabia and, in turn, reached out to the oil-rich kingdom.

Trump, Saudi Arabia in Mutual Embrace

A meeting Tuesday in Washington between Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, confirmed that the new government in Washington sees Riyadh as a critical partner for both security and investment, analysts say.

Prince Mohammed, 31, whose country is the birthplace of Islam, was one of the first foreign leaders to visit Trump, who has vowed to fight "radical Islamic terrorism".
His trip followed a series of laudatory comments towards the new administration from Saudi Arabia, whose relations were increasingly frayed under former president Barack Obama.

Trump "recognizes the Saudi leadership as the primary conduit to the Muslim world," said Salman al-Ansari, president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee [SAPRAC].

The Washington meeting was an affirmation by Trump's team that the main source "for Middle Eastern stability, security and untapped mutual economic prosperity is Saudi Arabia," Ansari told AFP from Washington.

His committee is a private initiative to strengthen Saudi-US ties.

Anwar Eshki, a retired Saudi general and founder of the Middle East Centre for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah, said Trump invited Prince Mohammed "to make the plan for the Middle East" together.


Meanwhile, not only the United States does represent the target of the Saudi charm offensive.

While his son was in Washington, King Salman was in Asia on a month-long tour that has included stops in China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia to strengthen alliances in the region.

Second in line to the throne, Prince Mohammed holds the post of defense minister, although much of his focus is on efforts to diversify the economy.

A White House statement said Trump and Prince Mohammed seek "to further strengthen and elevate the United States-Saudi strategic relationship" in security, economic and other areas.

The US and Saudi Arabia have a decades-old relationship based on the exchange of American ‘security' for Saudi oil.

While Trump's proposed 90-day ban on the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has prompted criticism in much of the Muslim world, there has been no outcry from Riyadh.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

17-03-2017 | 14:39


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