President Donald Trump will begin his first international trip as head of state this weekend: a five-stop marathon across the Middle East and Europe.
The president will stop first in Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations. He’s expected to deliver an important speech on the need to directly confront and defeat radical Islam.
“The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners,” National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said.
CBN News’ David Brody will be traveling with the president.
“Stephen Miller, who has worked for (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions, who has worked for (conservative former Congresswoman) Michele Bachmann, he’s writing that Islam speech so get ready for some potential fighting words, if you will,” he warned.
The Saudis are hoping for a “reset” in relations with the United States, according to Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“Saudi Arabia is delighted,” Henderson said. “They were very disappointed with (former U.S.) President (Barack) Obama who they thought favored Iran rather than them.”
The president then heads to Israel where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday in Bethlehem.
One thing the president is not expected to do on this trip is announce the moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something he pledged as a candidate.
But he will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and say a prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Then it’s on to Rome and a meeting with Pope Francis. The two had sharp differences during the campaign season over Trump’s proposed border wall.
On Thursday, the president will take part in a NATO summit in Belgium and then pay a visit to what was, during his election campaign, the “evil empire”: the European Union headquarters in Brussels, and a meeting with the heads of the EU and the European Council.
Trump will also meet newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron.
The president will then attend the G7 summit in Sicily before wrapping up his trip with a speech to American and Allied servicemen and their families.