Defeating terrorism our mutual goal, Trump says in Saudi summit

The session was earlier addressed by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia

Asif Bhatti
Saleh Zafar
US President Donald Trump speaks during the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. Trump tells Muslim leaders he brings message of ´friendship, hope and love´ / AFP

RIYADH: United States President Donald Trump addressed the Arab Islamic American Summit, which began on Sunday at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh, calling the 'defeat of terrorism' a mutual goal.

The summit is being attended by leaders from 55 countries, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who also had a brief encounter with the US president. The two leaders exchanged pleasantries before Trump went on to address the summit.

In his address, Trump said that he was overwhelmed by the graciousness of his hosts, adding that words cannot do justice to the ‘grandeur’ of the remarkable place, Saudi Arabia.

He said that the war against terrorism isn't a clash of civilizations, adding that it is a battle against those criminals wrongly using Islam’s name.

America wants peace in the world, not war, said Trump, adding that the US does not want to coerce its will upon the world.

The US president said that he brought the message of 'friendship, hope, and love'.

Trump said that he brought the message of peace and wanted better cooperation with the Muslim world.

The US president further said that during his stay historic agreements were signed worth $400 billion and create better job opportunities both in the Kingdom and the US.

Trump hoped that the $110billion defence pact would bring greater collaboration in the field of defence and security.

The US president said that peace in the world is top priority, adding that the war against terror is between the forces of good and evil.

The session was earlier addressed by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

PM Sharif arrived in Riyadh today to attend the summit on the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz.

After departing Islamabad in the morning, the premier arrived along with his delegation, which comprises several government officials and media persons, including foreign affairs’ adviser Sartaj Aziz and lawyer Akram Sheikh. 

The prime minister was received at the airport by the governor of Riyadh. 

The summit is being attended by around three dozen leaders of Islamic countries, including the prime ministers of Bangladesh and Malaysia, and presidents of Afghanistan, Egypt, as well as US President Donald Trump.

According to sources, Sharif will apprise the forum on Pakistan’s efforts in combating terrorism and extremism and share success strategies. The country’s issues with Afghanistan are also likely to come under discussion with the Saudi King

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.

Screen grab of the summit's webpage 

On Saturday, the Foreign Office clarified after media reports were aired on the contrary that the ‘full agenda’ of the summit will not leave time for the premier to hold bilateral meetings with President Trump and King Salman. 

However, sources said the premier could hold a meeting with the Saudi King later in the day.

The prime minister is also expected to visit Masjid-e-Nabvi in Medina.

Sources said Pakistan’s role in the 39-nation Islamic military alliance against terrorism will also come under discussion with Saudi authorities.

President Trump arrived in Riyadh on Saturday — the first leg of his maiden international trip since taking office in January. He will be leaving for Israel on Monday, and will also visit Italy and Belgium.