The Associated Press has obtained a draft of the marquee speech Trump will be giving to Arab leaders. The White House has confirmed that the transcript is authentic but warns the President has not signed off on the final product.
In the text, Trump urges Arab leaders to “drive out the terrorists from your places of worship” and emphasizes that this is a “battle between good and evil”.
Though Trump is expected to focus on the importance of partnerships and peace, there is an absence of both democracy and human rights in the text.
Though, if he does stick to the draft, Trump will have some harsh criticisms for Syria’s President Bashar Assad for committing “unspeakable crimes against humanity” and Iran for contributing to the violence in Syria.
The text reads:
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations. This is a battle between those who seek to obliterate human life and those who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil.
“We are not here to lecture – to tell other peoples how to live, what to do or who to be. We are here instead to offer partnership in building a better future for us all.
“All nations of conscience in the Middle East must work together to roll back Iran’s destabilising influence, restore a more stable balance of power in the region, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and responsible government they deserve.”
Iran and Syria were not invited to the summit, and they are not part of a regional military alliance that Saudi Arabia is establishing to fight terrorism. The kingdom backs efforts to topple the Syrian government, which counts Iran and Russia as its closest allies.
The speech describes terrorism as a widespread problem, but it makes no mention of “radical Islamic terrorism” – a regular phrase he utilised during his campaign.
Instead he will position himself as an “emissary for the American people, to deliver a message of friendship and hope”
Administration officials believe Mr Trump’s decision to begin his trip in Saudi Arabia sends a powerful message to the kingdom: the strained ties that marked US-Saudi relations under Obama are over.