Washington, – Saudi Arabia will be the first foreign country to be visited by President Donald Trump, he announced on Thursday.

Trump said at the White House that he wants to gather Muslim leaders from around the region to the Saudi capital Riyadh for a meeting that he hopes will establish “a new foundation of cooperation and support with our Muslim allies to combat extremism, terrorism and violence and to embrace a more just and hopeful future for young Muslims in their countries.” He added that his purpose was “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.” After Saudi Arabia, Trump will visit Israel and then Vatican City in Rome to meet with Pope Francis I.

“Tolerance is the cornerstone of peace,” Trump said. “That is why I am proud to make a major and historic announcement this morning and share with you that 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 will depart Washington on May 19 and after his stops in Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome will fly to Brussels for a NATO summit on May 24. After that the president will go to Sicily for a G-7 meeting on May 26. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency