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Salman optimistic about three Riyadh summits

Arab-Islamic-US summit to herald partnership to confront extremism, terrorism

Gulf News

Manama: Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz said he was confident the Saudi-US summit in Saudi Arabia on May 20 would contribute to consolidating the strategic relations between the two countries in various areas.

The summit in the capital Riyadh will also reinforce cooperation between the two countries over several regional and international issues and will strengthen global peace and stability, King Salman said as he chaired the weekly cabinet held on Monday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

The Saudi monarch welcomed the forthcoming visits by Trump, the GCC leaders attending the 17th advisory summit and the participants in the Arab-Islamic-US summit to Saudi Arabia.

On May 4, US President Donald Trump announced that he would visit Saudi Arabia on his first trip abroad since his inauguration in January. The US president is scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with King Salman, a second summit with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders and a third summit with leaders from Arab and Islamic countries.

King Salman told the cabinet that the GCC advisory summit on May 21 would deepen Gulf solidarity and that he was looking forward to the GCC-US summit to enhance relations and to intensify efforts to achieve aspirations for greater security, stability and peace in the region.

The leaders of the GCC, established in 1981 and comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, hold an annual rotational summit in December and an informal advisory summit without specific agendas in May in Saudi Arabia where the GCC headquarters are located.

King Salman said that the Arab-Islamic-US summit, on May 21, would be held “in light of the challenges and delicate conditions that the world is going through.”

He expressed hope that “the historic summit would herald a new partnership to confront extremism and terrorism, promote the values of tolerance, coexistence and cooperation, and serve the present and future of our peoples.”

Trump’s decision to make Saudi Arabia as his first travel destination abroad upended a US presidential tradition of visiting neighbours Canada or Mexico before flying to any other country.

According to US reports, by this point in his tenure as president, Obama had made three trips abroad during which he visited nine countries.