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Riyadh Summits: 48 Game-Changing Hours | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (AFP)

Riyadh – Under the headline of “Together we Prevail,” Saudi Arabia will host US President Donald Trump and the leaders and representatives of 55 Islamic countries on May 20 and 21 in 48 hours of dialogue that will change the rules of the game.

Saudi Arabia launched a website that contains information about the trip and details the program of the various summits that will be held during Trump’s visit.

According to the website, the kingdom will host the US and Muslim leaders during the historic event that will take place on May 20 and 21.

“United under a single vision – Together We Prevail – this highly anticipated event, the first of its kind in history, will renew our mutual commitment to global security and further strengthen already deep business, cultural and political ties,” said the website.

“Over the course of three major summits—the Saudi Arabia and United States summit; the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and United States summit; and the Arab Islamic American summit—historic relationships will be strengthened through a shared belief in tolerance and collaboration. The foundation will be laid for a new beginning and the promise of a brighter future for all,” it stressed.

According to the site, which is available in Arabic, English, French and Russian, Saudi Arabia seeks to “bring the world together to confront violent extremist ideology … we working in partnership with our American and Islamic allies to improve the lives of our people and strengthen our collective economies.”

The program includes a number of summits and they are: the Saudi-US summit, the GCC-US summit, the Arab Islamic American summit and Tweeps 2017. It also includes the inauguration of the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology, the Royal Court Art Exhibition, the Riyadh Forum on Countering Extremism and Fighting Terrorism, the Saudi-US CEO Forum and a visit to the Kind Abdulaziz Historic Museum.

In a message on the website, the Kingdom welcomed the invitees to “Saudi Arabia at this historic moment.”

“We are immensely proud of the opportunity to host this unprecedented gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders and the President of the United States and to showcase the Kingdom’s growing dynamism and potential as a force for good in the region and globally. We look forward to igniting a dialogue between Saudis and with our international partners that we hope will continue long after the meetings have ended and which will foster new relationships based on a shared vision of a brighter future,” it said.

In addition to stressing Saudi Arabia’s commitment to bolstering a secure and peaceful future in the Arab and Muslim worlds, the summit is an important occasion to address the opportunities of Saudi Arabia’s dynamic economic growth. It will also mark an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the strategic partnership not just with the United States, but with Arab and Islamic states the world over.

“It will be a platform to for all of our American, Arab and Muslim partners to take new bold steps towards bolstering peace and confronting those seeking to spread chaos and violence in all parts of the Islamic world and beyond,” said the website.

The May 20 Saudi-US summit will witness a series of bilateral meetings between the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Trump. They will focus on reaffirming the long-standing friendship, and strengthening the close political, economic, security and cultural bonds between the two nations.

Later that day, Trump will meet with the leaders of the world’s Islamic nations. They will address ways of build more robust and effective security partnerships to counter and prevent the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism around the globe through promoting tolerance and moderation.

The opening of the Royal Court Art Exhibition will also take place on Saturday. The exhibition aims at highlighting Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art across several generations, with a particular focus on young artists. It also aims at showcasing the Kingdom’s rich culture through the creative artworks of a number of contemporary artists and encouraging the dialogue between Saudi and American cultures through visual artworks demonstrating the artists’ life experiences.

Saturday will also witness the opening of the Riyadh Forum on Countering Extremism and Fighting Terrorism at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. It brings together researchers and institutions to sustain, produce and disseminate academic work, as well as to enrich the cultural and intellectual life in the Kingdom. Sponsored by the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), the forum will explore the nature of terrorism and the future of extremism.

The Saudi-US CEO Forum will also be held on May 20. Bringing together business leaders from across the Kingdom and the United States, the forum is a high-level one-day event designed to strengthen Saudi-US business relationships by providing a platform to enhance bilateral trade and investment and break down barriers to enable closer economic ties.

Trump will conclude the first day of his official trip by visiting the King Abdulaziz Historical Center, which is a cultural and civilization landmark highlighting the prominent history of the Arabian Peninsula and its historical message of disseminating Islam.

Following a royal tour of the Center, a traditional Saudi dinner will be served in honor of the Kingdom’s distinguished guest at the Murabba Palace.

On May 21, the leaders of the GCC will meet with Trump to discuss threats to regional security and stability and the building of stronger commercial ties between America and Gulf countries. The meeting will be held at the King Abdulaziz Convention Center.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel will then host “Tweeps 2017,” a conference on combating terrorism in the digital age. With millennials and Generation Z increasingly turning to social media for news and information, Trump joins King Abdullah II of Jordan, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Malala Yousafazai, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed and others for a lively discussion on fighting extremism and terrorism in the digital age.

In addition, Riyadh will also witness the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCEII), which counters and prevents the spread of extremist ideology through promoting moderation, compassion and supporting the dissemination of positive dialogue. King Salman and Trump will inaugurate the GCEII and discuss, at the Nasiriya Palace, its important contribution to the fight against extremism and terrorism.