US President Donald Trump will leave for Saudi Arabia on Friday on his first foreign visit as president.
Officials are eager to highlight the powerful symbolism of an American president choosing to visit the birthplace of Islam as his first stop rather than to neighbors Canada or Mexico.
The Kingdom has launched a website (riyadhsummit2017.org) in three languages with a countdown clock and details about the visit, which is packed with meetings.
An inaugural Saudi-US CEO forum will be held in Riyadh on Saturday in which several deals are expected to be signed in defense, electricity, oil and gas, industrial and chemical sectors
After meeting Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Saturday, Trump is scheduled to take part on Sunday in a pan-Arab and Islamic summit with leaders from across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
He is also scheduled to hold a separate joint session with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders.
Coinciding with the visit is a business forum on Saturday in Riyadh with CEOs from companies like GE and Dow Chemical.
Trump, known for his penchant for Twitter, will participate in a Twitter forum with young people on Sunday.
The MiSK Foundation, established by Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, to empower Saudi youth, hosts Tweeps 2017 on how people can utilize social media networks to counter extremism and terrorism.
Trump will deliver a keynote speech. Other renowned politicians will also participate, including Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Other speakers will discuss social media’s impact on religion, women’s leadership and community resilience through sport.
King Salman and President Trump will inaugurate Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCEII) on Sunday.
They will discuss its important contribution to the fight against extremism and terrorism.
The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCEII) counters and prevents the spread of extremist ideology through promoting moderation, compassion and supporting the dissemination of positive dialogue.
US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Tuesday that Trump will deliver a speech on “the need to confront radical ideology.”
“The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners,” McMaster said.
Trump’s visit “sends a clear message that the US is standing with its close allies in the region and that they’re not abandoning them,” a senior Saudi official told Reuters.
“This (new) administration comes in and … says, ‘No, wait a minute, Iran is active’,” the official said, referring to Gulf states’ views of Iran’s involvement through proxies in regional conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.
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