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US Experts: Trump’s Visit to Saudi Arabia Assures Allies, Confronts Enemies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, wave as they board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, May 19, 2017, prior to his departure on his first overseas trip. AP photo

Riyadh- US diplomats and officers have asserted that the visit of President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia and the choice of the kingdom as the first foreign destination send a strong message to friends and foes that Washington will defend its allies and face enemies decisively.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, experts expected that the meetings of Trump with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and leaders of GCC countries will result in tangible results to protect the region from the aggressive regime in Tehran.

Joseph Ereli, a former US ambassador to Bahrain, said that Trump’s visit to Riyadh is significant and ensures the US support to the kingdom and region.

“Although Obama visited the kingdom four times, his administration failed to assure the Arab world that the US is dedicated to the stability of its allies in the region,” he said.

The US approach towards Iran and its failure to resolve the Iraqi and Syrian files “increased this sense of insecurity,” he added.

Further, former Commander US Naval Forces Central Command/United States Fifth Fleet Adm. John Miller considered that choosing Saudi Araba as the first destination for Trump’s foreign visit sheds light on his awareness of the region’s importance and the role in Riyadh in assuring regional stability.

“The visit represents a normalization of US-Saudi ties after years of tension. During his electoral campaign and the first days of his presidency, the president discussed several times his wish that allies contribute to regional defense and stability. He chose Saudi Arabia due to the historic success of US-Saudi ties and the possibility of signing security agreements that go in tandem with the president’s vision,” Miller told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Responding to a question on results of the Riyadh summits on dealing with Iran and its negative role in the region, Miller affirmed that the new US administration was clear in its wish to achieve security and stability in the region, especially in troubled areas such as Yemen and Syria.