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Trump to Jeddah… Message Delivered?! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It is normal for any president to choose his inaugural visit based on his country’s interests. However, if this was done by US President Donald Trump then no doubt that the state he chooses will have the lion’s stake from these interests.

This is what Trump did when he chose Saudi Arabia to be his first foreign visit destination. If the kingdom is the country Trump chose to launch from it his new strategy in the reginal and the Islamic world then the visit will not be a protocol one as other official visits.

Trump will hold three summits in Jeddah to explain his wish to reposition US in the region, besiege the Iranian extension, ostracize extremism and terrorism and differentiate between Muslims and extremists.

Although the visit was a delightful surprise for the majority yet some are still shocked from selecting the kingdom specifically since US president sent positive message to his historic allies and partners in the region and Islamic world as well as warnings to Iran and extremists groups and countries supported by Iran.

It was also a surprise for those who cheered up when Trump became president assuming that he is an enemy of Saudi Arabia and Islam and that he will fulfill their wish in spurring tension and crises in the region – they were quickly disappointed especially after Trump put the Saudi-US ties back on track.

As a matter of fact this man is always surprising us. During 100 days of his term, he was able to gradually change the world’s perspective towards him as if he is separating between his previous electoral statements and his stances after entering the White House.

Here he is opening up on the Islamic world, starting from Saudi Arabia with a historic visit that serves his goal in proving that he is not an enemy of Islam but extremists and terrorists. Choosing Saudi Arabia as a first destination is an attempt to face the widely spread claims that Trump is an enemy of Islam, especially after his promises to ban Muslims from entering the US and his travel restrictions related resolutions – this visit also denies claims promoted by parties close to the administration of former US President Barack Obama that Saudi Arabia overlooks terrorism.

Trump’s visit will change the equation through a pursuit to aid Riyadh in confronting terrorism and extremism.

As for the Saudi-US coalition then it is certain that the historic visit will solve any disputes that occured through the past eight years. It is clear that the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, to Washington and his meeting with Trump resulted in putting the Saudi-US ties on track again. Points of agreement surpassed points of conflict.

The anticipated visit of Trump is a US keenness to reveal a new policy in the Middle East in addition that this visit will be a strong indicator of a bigger attempt to isolate Iran that is seen by the new US administration as a sponsor of terrorism in the world – deputy crown prince warned Iran that the kingdom will bring war to its territory in case it resumed its expansive policies.

The Muslim Brotherhood affiliated media – as described by deputy crown prince – seeks to undermine the importance of this visit and to find points of difference in US-Arab relations as well as to spread frustration.

I see that this reaction is expected – it also proves that accusations against this media are true as it seeks to disturb any attempts to restore stability in the region. As for the pessimists and concerned towards Trump’s future policies we advise them to go with the flow.

Salman Al-dossary

Salman Al-dossary

Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

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