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King Salman to Visit Washington in Early 2018 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Donald Trump (C) receives the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN)

Washington- US President Donald Trump will receive Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz early next year, the White House announced on Wednesday. They will hold an American-Saudi summit on enhancing security and prosperity in the Middle East.

In the statement, the White House said that Trump had a phone call with Salman and they agreed that King Salman would visit the White House in the beginning of 2018 – they also discussed efforts to halt terrorism funding and fight extremist ideologies as well as the importance of following up Riyadh Summit obligations.

Anthony H. Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said that “Saudi Arabia is a significant ally to the US, and the visit of Trump to Riyadh in May was to assure Gulf partners and to take a defensive stance against Iranian and terrorist threats so that Trump would restore trust between Washington and Riyadh, knowing that ties were tense in the end of US former President Barack Obama’s term.”

Saudi Arabia was the first destination of Trump, last May.

Cordesman expected the Qatari crisis to be a major part of the talks in addition to Iran’s attempts to expand its dominance in the region and Trump’s administration stance towards the nuclear agreement. He added that talks will also cover fighting terrorism and the military advancing against ISIS in addition to regional cases such as the situation in Syria, the crisis in Yemen, the US stance towards Palestinian cause and efforts to resume Palestinian-Israeli negotiation and the two-state solution.

The military cooperation between Riyadh and Washington will also be a leading part in the discussions, especially that Trump’s visit to the kingdom witnessed signing militarily agreements that exceed USD110 billion as the kingdom moves forward in implementing Saudi Vision 2030 to diversify economy and attract foreign investments.