Robin Rowan, 5/21/2017; updated 6:41pm
President Trump received rock star treatment in Saudi Arabia. Muslim majority nations partner alongside the American President against terrorism and he signed a $350 billion economic package with Saudi Arabia.
President Trump also showcased the opening of the new Global Center Combating Extremist Ideology located in Riyadh Saudi Arabia in partnership with Egypt and other Muslim majority nations.The technology super site will monitor social media and internet traffic for recruitment and training of extremists. Ivanka Trump said the massive high tech center had been engineered and completed in a few short months.
In addition, the President announced that every Nation member of the Gulf Coordination Council had joined the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center to stop terror financing. He named Iran’s proxy Hazbollah, al-Qaeda, ISIS and Hamas in his speech. This is significant news to Israel.
President Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017 was a great ceremony and as one reporter stated “he was a rock star.” In addition to the unification of voices to fight extremism and terrorism, the economic package between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia includes a $110 billion arms deal to sell U.S. built missile defense systems, Blackhawk helicopters and more from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to help in the fight against Iran and their terror proxies.
General Electric, General Dynamics and other U.S. companies entered into large contracts with Saudi Arabia as a result of the economic package. President Trump refers to it as “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Trump brought the Arab leaders of Muslim majority nations together into publicly standing against terrorism and stop terror financing.
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations; This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people of all regions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil.”
President Donald Trump
After speaking of the innocent children and families that have been slaughtered, President Trump said to the Arab leaders;
“We can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are untied and strong, and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden. Terrorism has spread all across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land. American is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interest and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves for their country, and for their families. It’s a choice between the futures, it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists, and drive out the extremists.
“Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, and drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”
President Trump then announced that the Arab States in attendance were signing significant anti-terror financing agreement.
Before his speech, Saudi’s King Salman announced the opening in Riyadh of a center to stop terror financing and took a strong stand against terrorism in the name of Islam. In 2016 alone, Saudi Arabia experienced 128 terror attacks resulting in 1,147 killed and injured.
Arab address comes before Israel.
President Trump is giving this speech against terrorism in strategic timing before he goes to Israel the following day. By establishing new relationship and addressing the commonalities of the Arab Gulf nations, he attempts to bring the focus to the problem addressing the region to where it should be, on Iran, ISIS and terrorism. Israel and the Palestinian issue are not the root of the terrorism problem, as the anti-Israel propagandist would have some believe. As the Arab leaders turn against terrorism, they in turn need to condemn Palestinian terrorism and hopefully nudge the Palestinians back to direct negotiations.
Relationships between Arab states and Israel are growing. President Trump made a point in the speech to mention his upcoming meetings with Israel President Netanyahu and Palestinian president Abbas to bring negotiations and peace to the region.
The Associated Press reports that Hamas is very angry that U.S. President Trump mentioned Hamas along with al-Qaeda and ISIS in his speech referring to terrorists groups.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States also share common goals with Israel, one of which is developing new energy, water, and agricultural technology. In 2015, Israel opened its first diplomatic mission in the United Arab Emirates, and there are extensive business ties between Israel and Gulf countries valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Egypt and Jordan have long standing relations with Israel. Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is optimistic.
“That convergence of concern between Israel, the Sunni Arab states and President [Donald] Trump’s administration creates the possibility for real coordination and cooperation between Israel and the Arab world.”
Partners in Fighting Terrorism and Iran.
Not only is this a reset of relations, but a partnership against Iran. Iran is the mutual enemy of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab nations.
President Trump signed in great ceremony a $110 Billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia which allows United States sales of U.S. manufactured missile defense systems and other arms needed for the Saudis to fight terrorism and take a leading role in pushing Iran back from their regional aggression.
The $110 Billion arms deal was included in $350 billion in economic and defense investments between the two countries over the next 10 years. It includes Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. This missile defense system will protect Saudi Arabia from threats they are undergoing from Iran’s terror groups now in Yemen, on Saudi Arabia’s southern border.
The same U.S.-built missile defense system was deployed to South Korea last month. Saudi Arabia shot down a missile from Yemen just days before the President’s arrival.
It is expected that by giving Saudi Arabia the tools to fight Iran’s aggression and wide spread terrorism, the United States can allow the Sunni Gulf State nations to take a larger role in security and stability of the region. President Trump’s historic speech called on all of the Arab nations to step up to the plate.
President Trump, Secretary of State Tillerson and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross participated in the traditional dance with swords at the Saudi welcome ceremony.
Stopping the Financing of Terrorism.
Saudi Arabia was under great criticism after 911 as many of the financiers for the terrorism came not from the government, but from wealthy families within the nation. Now, Saudi Arabia has become a leader in stopping terror financing.
According Daniel Glaser, assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the U.S. Department of Treasury.
“All Gulf countries have now passed counter-terrorism laws that criminalize terrorist financing, and have enhanced financial controls across the charitable sector to ensure that funds intended for humanitarian objectives do not benefit terrorist activity.”
“In particular, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a regional leader within the Gulf and has joined us in targeted designations.”
“I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center – co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered.
I also applaud the Gulf Cooperation Council for blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year. Saudi Arabia also joined us this week in placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah.
Of course, there is still much work to do.
That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.
Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.”
President Trump announced that all the Gulf nations in attendance of the speech were signing a coalition and agreement to stop terror financing.
Saudi Arabia is a partner the United States needs, along with other Arab Gulf nations, to take control of the stability of the region. A new relationship is being set. Not a relationship of apology of the past and weakness, but a relationship grounded on the strength and leadership of the United States.
President Trump received the highest civilian honor from the Saudi Arabia King. Some U.S. media falsely compared it to President Obama “bowing” to the King. Instead, Trump became a leading partner with the Muslim nations in the fight against terrorism.