President Trump made the decision to begin his first foreign trip in Saudi Arabia, delivering a message of peace and unity with Muslim leaders he seeks to enlist for the fight radical Islamic terrorism, the president’s national security adviser said Friday.
Mr. Trump embarks on the historic trip next week, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Vatican City in Rome before attending a NATO leaders meeting in Brussels and G-7 summit in Sicily.
“No president has ever visited the homelands and the holy sites of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all on one trip,” National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said.
The agenda, including meeting with leaders from Muslim countries set up by the Saudi king, challenged Mr. Trump’s critics who have accused him of being anti-Muslim.
“What President Trump is seeking is to unite people of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity. He will bring a message of tolerance and of hope to billions, including to millions of Americas who profess these faiths,” Mr. McMaster said.
At the meetings in Saudi Arabia, Mr. McMaster said, Mr. Trump will seek partnerships in confronting the Islamic State and Iran, as well as call on Muslim leaders to promote a peaceful version of Islam to undermine radicalization by terrorist groups.
Mr. McMaster said the president has three goals for the trip: Reaffirm America’s global leadership; continue to build relationships with other leaders; and to “broadcast a message of unity to America’s friends and to the faithful of three of the world’s greatest religions.”