Washington, May 12 (PTI) The maiden foreign trip of US President Donald Trump to the Middle East and Europe is to reaffirm American leadership and build key relationship with world leaders, the White House said today.
Previewing the trip at the daily White House briefing, National Security Advisor H R McMaster said the visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Belgium and Italy later this month will show the president’s engagement with leaders around the world.
“The trip has three core purposes: first, to reaffirm America’s global leadership; second, to continue building key relationships with world leaders; and third, to broadcast a message of unity to America’s friends and to the faithful of three of the world’s greatest religions, National Security McMaster said.
McMaster said Trump prioritises building strong relationships with world leaders as a way to strengthen US alliances.
“Trump has been successful,” he said, referring to the president’s meetings with the Chinese President and British Prime Minister.
McMaster said that Trump understands that “America first does not mean America alone.”
“Prioritising American interests means strengthening alliances and partnerships that help US extend its influence and approve the security of the American people,” he said.
Asserting that the upcoming trip is truly historic, McMaster said no US president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all on one trip.
What President Trump is seeking is to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity, he said.
He will bring a message of tolerance and of hope to billions, including to millions of Americans who profess these faiths. The president will focus on what unites us, he said.
“During the trip, he will encourage our Arab and Muslim partners to take bold, new steps to promote peace and to confront those from ISIS, to al-Qaeda, to Iran, to the Assad regime of Syria who he alleged perpetuate chaos and violence that has inflicted so much suffering throughout the Muslim world and beyond,” he said.
Trump, according to McMaster “will lead the first steps toward a stronger, more capable and more robust security partnership with Gulf Arab and Muslim partners”.
He will develop a strong, respectful message that the US and the entire civilised world expects our Muslim allies to take a strong stand against radical Islamist ideology, an ideology that uses a perverted interpretation of religion to justify crimes against all humanity. He will call for Muslim leaders to promote a peaceful vision of Islam,” said the NSA.
“In Israel, Trump will reaffirm America’s unshakable bond to the Jewish state. And in his meetings with Palestinian Authority president he will express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians,” McMaster said.
To leaders and peoples alike across the entire trip, he will demonstrate his hopes for just and lasting peace, said the top White House official.
In Rome, Trump looks forward to paying his respects to Pope Francis and to discussing religious freedom, ways to combat religious persecution, human trafficking, and cooperating on humanitarian missions across the globe, McMaster said.
According to McMaster, the impetus for this trip came from Trump himself.
“He has been fully engaged from the beginning, setting objectives, overseeing the planning. The President’s receiving regular briefings from his Cabinet and from our senior staff here on the national security side and on the economic side as well, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.