Trump to make his first presidential overseas trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Vatican
President Donald Trump, on his first trip abroad, will travel later this month to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican in an effort to unite Islam, Judaism and Christianity in the common cause of fighting “intolerance” and radical extremism, White House officials said Thursday.
The nine-day trip, during which officials said Trump will meet with Pope Francis, will end with previously announced meetings with NATO leaders in Brussels and the Group of Seven world economic powers in Sicily.
In a Rose Garden ceremony to sign an executive order easing tax rules against religious organizations’ participation in politics, Trump said that “tolerance is the cornerstone of peace.”
His trip, he said, “will begin with a truly historic gathering in Saudi Arabia with leaders from all across the Muslim world,” where “we will begin to construct a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies to combat extremism, terrorism and violence.”
In an apparent reference to his willingness to deal with authoritarian governments without pressuring them on human rights, Trump said, “Our task is not to dictate to others how to live but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the Middle East.”