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The Latest: Trump to Hold Press Conference on IS Fight

The Latest: Trump to Hold Press Conference on IS Fight

Sunday, 21 May 2017 07:04 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's first trip abroad (all times local):

1:43 p.m.

President Donald Trump is thanking Kuwait for its help in the fight against terror — and is pledging to update the public on their efforts soon.

Trump says during a meeting with the Emir of Kuwait on Sunday that he'll hold a news conference in two weeks to discuss the battle against the Islamic State group.

He's also praising the U.S.'s relationship with Kuwait and, in particular, the wealthy nation's frequent purchases of American military equipment.

The Emir of Kuwait also invited the president to visit.

Trump has been holding a whirlwind of meetings with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia in the hours before he delivers a speech on how the Islamic world can help fight extremism.


1:16 p.m.

A senior Israeli Cabinet minister has voiced concern about the U.S.'s $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Yuval Steinitz, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israeli officials will have to "hear the explanations" of the deal when President Donald Trump arrives in Israel on Monday.

Steinitz says it is crucial that Israel maintain its military edge over its Arab neighbors, despite warming ties with Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia.

Steinitz says, "This is not a country that we have diplomatic relations with" and that it "is still a hostile country and nobody knows what the future holds."

Steinitz says the deal is "definitely something that should trouble us."


12:36 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump paid a visit to the American International School in Riyadh on Sunday while her husband held a series of bilateral meetings with Arab leaders.

The first lady delivered Dr. Seuss books to a pre-school classroom, spoke to sixth graders on a soccer field and clapped along to a rendition of "Lean on me" in the school's library.

She was joined by the Saudi education minister.

It's the first lady's first visit to the country and her first experience representing the U.S. on a foreign stage.


12:20 p.m.

The White House says it's aware that North Korea has launched a midrange ballistic missile in the North's latest weapons test.

White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump say the system, which was last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's most recent tests.

South Korea's military says the missile was fired Sunday from an area near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

The U.S. has sought to push back against North Korea's work to speed up the development its nuclear weapons and missile program.


11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is joining with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council in an effort to counter the financing of terrorism.

White House adviser Dina Powell tells reporters that a memorandum of understanding signed by the U.S. and GCC nations represents the "farthest reaching commitment" to not finance terrorist organizations.

She says it includes a pledge to prosecute the financing of terrorism, including individuals.

Along with the U.S., the participants include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The White House did not immediately release a text of the agreement.

Trump and the GCC leaders watched as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exchanged documents.


10:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is making plans for another foreign trip as he eases into his first.

Trump said Sunday he would accept an invitation made by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to visit Egypt. Trump said the visit would happen before long.

Trump is also calling el-Sissi his "friend" and praising him for the release of U.S. aid worker Aya Hijazi, who had been held captive for three years.

Through a translator, el-Sissi said Trump "had a unique personality" that allowed him "to do the impossible."

Trump smiled and said "I agree."

Trump was also overheard complimenting el-Sissi's shoes.


9:58 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that he and the Emir of Qatar will discuss the purchase of "lots of beautiful military equipment."

Trump and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Sunday morning in Riyadh in a bilateral meeting.

The president said the two nations had been "friends for a long time." He added that "no one makes" military equipment like the United States and said a deal would create jobs for the U.S. and security for Qatar.

The potion of the meeting open to reporters did not include any discussion of human rights in Qatar. The nation has come under scrutiny for the harsh conditions faced by workers building the venues for the 2022 World Cup.


9:23 a.m.

President Donald Trump is beginning his day of meetings with Arab leaders with the King of Bahrain.

Trump says the two countries "have a wonderful relationship" but "there has been a little strain."

He vowed Sunday to improve things further. Trump did not specify what tension he needed to resolve. The two countries have had a long-term military alliance though the U.S. Was critical of Bahrain's response to uprisings during the Arab Spring.

The King of Bahrain also praised the two nations' long-term alliance.

Trump is set to have a day of meetings before delivering a major speech to the Muslim world urging unity in the fight against terror.


9:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump is kicking off the second day of his first foreign trip abroad with a series of bilateral and group meetings with foreign leaders.

Trump will meet with leaders from Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, and other countries before delivering a speech on fighting extremism.

The president will urge leaders in the region to "drive out the terrorists from your places of worship." That's according to a draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press.

He'll also attend the opening of the new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.


7:20 A.M.

President Donald Trump is using the nation that is home to Islam's holiest site as a backdrop to call for unity across the Muslim world in the fight against terrorism.

In Trump's Sunday speech, which is the centerpiece of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, he will address 50 Muslim and Arab leaders and urge them to "drive out the terrorists from your places of worship." That's according to a draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press.

Trump's presidential campaign was frequently punctuated by bouts of anti-Islamic rhetoric. He is now poised to soften some of his language about the Muslim faith.

Though during the campaign Trump repeatedly stressed the need to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism," that phrase is not included in the draft.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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The Latest on President Donald Trump's first trip abroad (all times local):1:43 p.m.President Donald Trump is thanking Kuwait for its help in the fight against terror - and is pledging to update the public on their efforts soon.Trump says during a meeting with the Emir of...
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Sunday, 21 May 2017 07:04 AM
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