As President Donald Trump prepares to leave on his first foreign trip, the whole world is watching. Expectations are extremely high. Susana Victoria Perez (@susana_vp) has more.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Trump said Friday that he would deploy tough talk with Muslim leaders in his attempt to unite the world against terrorism, promising to “represent the views of the American people frankly and clearly” in a meeting with 50 leaders from around the region.
But Trump is heading to Saudi Arabia with more than just lofty rhetoric. He’s bringing with him to Riyadh a variety of diplomatic, economic and military tools – the most important of which may be Air Force One itself.
The presidential plane has become a symbol of U.S. power and diplomacy, and its arrival in a foreign capital is a sign that an American president takes the relationship seriously — all the more so because Trump has chosen Riyadh as his first foreign destination as president.
Trump will use a package of arms deals, economic sanctions and intelligence cooperation in his effort to reset the relationship with Saudi Arabia after eight years of cooler relations under President Obama.
“Many of these leaders have expressed growing concern about terrorism, the spread of radicalization, and Iran’s role in funding both. Now it appears Muslim leaders are ready to take more responsibility and a much bigger role in fighting terrorism in their region. It’s about time we do it, we’ll do it together, but it has to be done,” Trump said in his weekly radio address Friday.
Echoing his January inaugural address, Trump said he would “strengthen our old friendships, build new partnerships, and unite the civilized world in a fight against terrorism.”
For Saudi Arabia, Trump’s most important…