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Trump To Call For Unity In Fight Against Extremists In Saudi Speech


U.S. President Donald Trump is set to deliver a speech to dozens of leaders of Muslim states at a regional summit in Riyadh on the second day of his visit to Saudi Arabia.

Trump is expected to call for a united stand against extremism and intolerance in the May 21 speech, according to a draft of the speech obtained by the Associated Press.

Trump will be joined by Saudi King Salman and more than 50 regional leaders for meetings focused on combating the Islamic State (IS) militant group and other extremists.

The speech will be one of the key moments of his first foreign trip, which will also take him to Israel, the Vatican City, a Group of Seven meeting in Sicily, and a NATO gathering in Brussels.

It will be closely watched given the anti-Muslim comments by Trump during his presidential campaign and his attempt after inauguration to institute a temporary U.S. entry ban on nationals and refugees from several Muslim-majority countries, although not including Saudi Arabia.

According to the speech draft, Trump planned to urge unity in the fight against radicalism in the Muslim world.

He is to characterize it as a "battle between good and evil" and appeal to Arab leaders to "drive out the terrorists from your places of worship."

The draft did not contain the words "radical Islamic terror." During his campaign, Trump repeatedly attacked then-President Barack Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for not using the phrase.

Trump also will condemn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for "unspeakable crimes against humanity" and Iran for contributing to the violence during Syria's six-year civil war.

"All nations of conscience in the Middle East must work together to roll back Iran's destabilizing influence, restore a more stable balance of power in the region, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and responsible government they deserve," he will say, according to the draft.

After leaving Saudi Arabia, Trump will arrive in Israel for a May 22 meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a visit to the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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