RIYADH: US President Donald Trump called on Arab leaders to do their fair share to “drive out” terrorism from their countries on Sunday in a speech. Trump described the fight against terrorism as a battle between good and evil rather than a clash of civilisations. “America is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them,” Trump told leaders of 55 Muslim majority countries representing more than a billion people. “The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries and frankly for their families and for their children,” he said.
“It’s a choice between two futures and its a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. “Drive them out! Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth,” he said. Earlier, the GCC-US Summit was inaugurated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia at King Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre in Riyadh. On behalf of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmood al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, attended the summit, in the presence of Trump.
“Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land,” he said in Saudi Arabia. Trump received a warm welcome from Arab leaders.
Speaking on the occasion, Saudi King Salman said:
“Our responsibility before God and our people and the whole world is to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism wherever they are…”
The United States and Gulf countries announced agreement to coordinate efforts against the financing of terrorist groups.
Trump holds talks with GCC leaders
Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council posed for a photo with Trump before they walked into their meeting.
In the meeting, GCC leaders and Trump agreed on a memorandum of understanding to establish a centre to combat the financing of terrorism, Saudi official news agency SPA reported.
The GCC groups Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Later, speaking to the media, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid al Zayani, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, stressed that the leaders of the GCC discussed a number of issues pertaining to enhance their joint action and ways of enhancing them in all fields.
He added that they also discussed the latest developments in the region and international efforts in combating terrorism.
This came during remarks he made following the 17th Consultative Meeting of the GCC leaders in Riyadh on Sunday in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior. The GCC secretary-general pointed out that the meeting dealt with the reports submitted by the GCC ministerial council and approved outcomes of the joint meeting of the GCC interior, foreign and defence ministers.