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Multi-billion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia

09 May 2017

While tangible goals for both the Israel and Saudi Arabia visits are still in progress, senior White House officials said the trip will serve as an opportunity to make strides in defense and diplomacy.

The president's first foreign trip is typically seen as a signal of the new administration's priorities.

To date, Trump has left the foreign travel to his top aides and Cabinet members, including Vice President Mike Pence, who has been on two global trips so far, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump has made forging peace in the Middle East and fighting Islamic State a focus of his administration's foreign policy.

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One commentator told Saudi state television that the U.S. president 'will provide a security blanket for Washington's allies in the region'.

"My first foreign trip as president of the United States will be to Saudi Arabia, then Israel, and then to a place that my cardinals love very much, Rome", Trump said, referring to the Zionist entity.

The US is trying to push through a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to capital Riyadh, according to a report.

Trump has also already met with Israeli and Palestinian leadership and has pledged to broker a peace deal between the two sides. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, on Wednesday, 24 May 2017, at 8:30 the Apostolic Palace.

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Senior administration officials, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, said Saudi Arabia was picked as the first country to counter a narrative that Trump doesn't get along with Saudi officials.

Trump and Netanyahu will discuss "a range of regional issues, including "threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist group", and Trump will discuss with Abbas "ways to advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as efforts to unlock the potential of the Palestinian economy", the statement added".

White House officials said representatives of other Arab Gulf countries will also be gathering during Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. Trump and the Pope will have some fences to mend: During the campaign, Trump sharply criticized Francis after the leader of the Catholic Church noted that building walls is not a Christian virtue, calling the pope's comments "disgraceful".

Team Trump spun up the outrage machine in the wake of the comment, which came as the GOP presidential hopeful was embroiled in a primary fight for SC, a deeply religious - though not overwhelmingly Catholic - state. Trump and Francis couldn't be more different in their approaches to some of the pressing issues of the day, with immigration and climate change topping the list.

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Multi-billion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia