- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2017

Leaders of the Muslim world have been reaching out to President Trump seeking closer cooperation to combat radical Islam, setting the stage for the president’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, senior administration officials said Thursday.

Some of the outreach, they said, was spurred by frustration with the U.S. disengagement under President Obama, as well as a dissatisfaction with growing unrest in the region.

In the trip to Saudi Arabia, home to the two most important mosques in Islam, Mr. Trump will meet with leaders of the Muslim world seek to establish a framework for confronting radicalism that has destabilized the region for generations.

“There is a moment in time here with a genuine willingness to work together and with the united states,” said a senior official.

The objective the White House outlined for the trip included:

* Finding a long-term fix for radicalization;

* Taking action to stop the funding of terroist organizations;

* Countering the influence of Iran and the Islamic State;

* Increasing the share of the security burden among Middle East nations.

“Our partners have an ability to do a lot more in the region,” said an official.

The trip also will further demonstrate that Mr. Trump’s “America First” agenda “is fully compatible with American leadership in the world,” said another senior administration official.

The visit to Saudi Arabia is the first stop in a trip that includes meetings in Israel and at the Vatican, as Mr. Trump seeks cooperation among the major religions of the world.

The visits will precede the president’s travel to a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, and to Sicily for a meeting of the G-7 nations.

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