After criticising opponents for not saying 'radical Islamic terrorism' Donald Trump rules it out of Saudi Arabia speech

President will instead use 'Islamist extremism'

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 21 May 2017 14:35 BST
Trump tells Middle East need to 'drive out' terrorism on their own

Donald Trump will not use the words "radical Islamic terrorism" during a speech in Saudi Arabia despite criticising Barack Obama for not using the phrase.

Mr Trump often used anti-Islamic rhetoric during his presidential campaign and repeatedly stressed the need to say the words.

The phrase is missing from a draft of Mr Trump's speech.

"This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it," the President will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

"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," he will say.

Donald Trump appears to 'curtsey' to Saudi king

In excerpts released by the White House ahead of his speech, Mr Trump will call for unity across the Muslim world in the fight against terrorism.

He will tell an audience of leaders of Muslim-majority countries he is "not here to lecture" and "not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship".

"This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations," but "a battle between good and evil," he will say.

The speech is part of a re-set effort with the Muslim world after Mr Trump frequently attacked Muslims on the campaign trail last year and tried to ban many from entering the United States.

"Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land," he will say.

"The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them."

Mr Trump's speech, the centrepiece of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, will address the leaders of 50 Muslim-majority countries and comes amid a renewed courtship of the United States' Arab allies as the president held individual meetings with leaders of several nations, including Egypt and Qatar.

A meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi underscored the kinship, with Mr Trump saluting his counterpart on the release of Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi in April, who had been detained in the country for nearly three years.

Mr Sisi invited Mr Trump to visit him in Egypt, adding: "You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible."

As the participants laughed, Mr Trump responded: "I agree."

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