He will be accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump for the eight-day, five-country itinerary, which includes stops in the symbolic homes of three Abrahamic religions. Trump may be attempting to rebuild relations with countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia, which frayed under the Presidency of Barack Obama. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will also accompany Trump for most of the trip.
Trump outlined his objectives for this trip, which comes as his Administration struggles with a series of controversies, as he addressed the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday.
“I will strengthen old friendships and seek new partners, but partners who also help us, not partners who take, and take, and take,” Trump said in his commencement address. “Partners who help pay for whatever we are doing and all of the good that we doing for them. Which is something that a lot of people have not gotten used to, and they just can’t get used to it.”
Here’s his itinerary:
Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, on May 20. He will first meet King Salman in Riyadh for coffee, followed by a royal banquet, before holding bilateral talks with the King, the Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince. Trump will reportedly come bearing a $100 billion arms deal, and the leaders are likely to discuss issues such as Syria, Iran and the ongoing war in Yemen.
Before having dinner with the Saudi royal family, the President will take part in a signing ceremony on several agreements, which “will further solidify U.S.-Saudi security and economic cooperation” National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster told the press on May 16.
The next day, Trump will hold bilateral meetings with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which consists of six energy rich Middle Eastern countries. The President will have lunch with leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries— including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes— during a summit. Syria and Iran were not invited to the event as they are not part of a Saudi Arabian military alliance, that is being established to fight terrorism. There, Trump will give a speech about radical ideology and Islam, which is being drafted by White House aide Stephen Miller, Politico reports.
According to McMaster, Trump will finish-off his trip by inaugurating a new center to fight radicalism and will participate in a Twitter forum with young people.
Trump arrives in Israel on May 22 amid a handful of diplomatic misunderstandings, which includes Trump allegedly revealing classified intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that is thought to have come from Israel, and McMaster declining to state that the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, is a part of Israel.
Trump is set to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and lay a wreath at the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem. He will then deliver remarks at the Israel Museum and reaffirm the U.S.’s “unshakable bond with our closest ally in the Middle East” McMaster said. Later that day, he will meet privately with Prime Minister Netanyahu and have dinner with Netanyahu and his wife.
The next day, Trump will spend time with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, part of his effort to facilitate the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Jerusalem, Trump is set to say a prayer at the Western Wall, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to visit the contested territory. He will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Trump will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 24. Both men hold opposing views on climate change and immigration. Speaking ahead of the visit on May 13, the Pontiff says he won’t try to persuade Trump to his views and he will try and find common ground with the President.
“I will tell him what I think, he will tell me what he thinks, but I never wanted to judge someone before I listen to the person first,” the Pope said, ABC News reports. According to reports, Trump is due to nominate Callista Gingrich, the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for the post of U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
Trump will also get a tour of St. Peter’s by the Cardinal Secretary of State and will meet Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella before departing Rome.
The President will meet Belgium’s King Philippe and Prime Minister Charles Michel, as well as heads of state and government of the country on May 25. He will then head to the E.U. headquarters in Brussels to meet the E.U. and European Council presidents. Trump has previously said that the U.K. was doing the right thing by leaving the E.U. and that other countries would follow.
Trump will then have a working lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron. During the French presidential elections, Trump told Associated Press that he thought far-right leader Marine Le Pen would do well in the vote as she was “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France” he told AP.
Trump is then expected to reaffirm his commitment to NATO while unveiling the security bloc’s memorial, in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall and segment of the World Trade Center. Trump will also say that “for the good of the alliance, all members must share responsibility and share burdens” McMaster said. Secretary of Defense James Mattis will accompany Trump for a NATO meeting and dinner.
Trump will head to Italy for the final leg of his trip for a May 26-27 G7 meeting on the island of Sicily. The event will be attended by German President Angela Merkel, Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of Italy and Japan— who are keen to gain a clear understanding of Trump’s views on a range of issues, which include trade, terrorism and the refugee crisis.
The White House has however said that Trump will only make a decision as to whether he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement on his return from Sicily. According to McMaster, Trump will “press America’s economic agenda and call for greater security cooperation” he said.
At the summit, Trump will attend a concert by the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra and attend a leaders’ dinner.
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