Here's where Trump is going on his first foreign trip as president

Here's where Trump is going on his first foreign trip as president

Here's where Trump is going on his first foreign trip as president

Administration officials provided few details about the dates for the visits or which cities Trump would visit other than to say the stops will occur before the president attends a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on May 25 and the Group of Seven summit of leading industrial nations in Taormina on the island of Sicily on May 26-27.

Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia, according to the WH official, will focus on trying to reach an understanding with Arab leaders on joint "long-term" goals to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.

Nearly half of young Arab men and women view the United States as a foe, according to a poll released last week, which surveyed 3,000 Arabs in 16 countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

They will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, he added. "We thought this was an important place to start", the official said. The White House said the president met privately Thursday with Roman Catholic cardinals.

The comments were seen by many as a swipe at Trump's pledge to pull the United States out of the COP21 Paris Agreement which binds countries to national pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The senior administration officials said it's a time when the Trump administration can pursue policies that "strengthen our hand and weaken our enemies". Then, he will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who was at the White House Wednesday, for further discussions about Middle East peace. Trump has promised to make a major effort to resolve the generations-old dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Whether he can or can't" achieve what others could not, "it's our job to try", one official said. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all traveled overseas during their first 100 days.

Officials in Washington are reporting that the USA and Saudi Arabia are conducting negotiations for a multi-billion-dollar arms deal. "And so do we", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in a meeting with reporters Thursday in Washington.

On a visit to Mexico in February 2016 Francis held an open-air mass on the US-Mexico border, where he described forced migration as "a human tragedy".

In Saudi Arabia, Trump will convene with political and religious leaders from across the Muslim world to sort out how to fight terrorism. Administration officials said they foresaw a number of agreements to be announced after the meetings, where discussions are expected to include a new military coalition among friendly Sunni Muslim states.

For the Saudis and other Arab Gulf leaders there's relief the Trump administration appears as determined as them to clip Iranian wings. "The visit will reaffirm the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia and allow the leaders to discuss issues of strategic concern, including efforts to defeat terrorist groups and discredit radical ideologies".

In Israel, local media said that Trump wants to deliver his main speech at the ancient desert fortress of Masada.

If there's reluctance on either Trump's or Francis's side for the meeting, it wouldn't be surprising. Trump, at this stage, hasn't accepted, though a person close to Trudeau said he doesn't feel snubbed.

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