Trump wants NATO-like force for the Middle East

US President Donald Trump salutes as he steps from Air Force One upon his arrival at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., May 17, 2017.


:: A senior White House official told Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent in Washington on Thursday that US President Donald Trump wants to set up a NATO-style security organization in the Middle East.

The official, who spoke with a small group of journalists and did not want to make his name public, said Trump is going to announce the formation of the regional security organization during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

The framework and structure of this organization will be established after eliminating ISIS to bring stability and security to the region through a joint security coalition that includes many of Washington’s allies, according to the source.

He added that the entity will also enhance and create employment and investment opportunities, which will boost a state of prosperity that will help economic growth, reconstruction, the return of refugees and will also put an end to conflicts.

The official said to a small group of journalists that “empowering Iran at the expense of US allies coupled with a declined the US leading role in the region has resulted in causing a lack of confidence.

Thus, the plan for the US president was to visit Saudi Arabia “first and to collaborate with Saudi officials to build strong relations and President Trump communicated this message during Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Washington.”

The official added that the administration of President Trump is not at war with Muslims but against extremism and radicalism.

The official praised the Saudi stand and described it as a “catalyst for achieving the vision of President Trump to eliminate ISIS and that there is a real mutual desire to within the administration of President Trump to collaborate in order to achieve these goals.”

He added that Saudi Arabia “as the leader of the Islamic world was able to invite 54 countries to attend the summit and that President Trump will address the Islamic world to confirm that the battle is not between the West and Islam, but rather between the forces of good and the forces of evil.”

The senior official stressed that there is a need to confront Iran and to build alliances with the Gulf countries to limit and block its interference in the region.

He added that there are many economic deals to be signed with an investment of $200 billion dollars, which will create jobs for both Saudi and American youth, This initiative was discussed when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Washington and spoke with President Trump.

The official revealed that the administration will seal arms deals with Saudi Arabia at a value of $300 billion in stages, out of which a $109 billion to be signed at the end of the summit.

According to a Washington Post report, discussions of the project said that in addition to Saudi Arabia, initial participants in the coalition would include the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, with the United States playing an organizing and support role while staying outside of the proposed alliance.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced the launch of a state-owned military industrial company aimed at contributing more than 14 billion riyals ($3.7 billion) to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Trump is scheduled to be in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, from Saturday on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

The Saudi-hosted summit of Arab and Muslim leaders is expected to include top level talks on Sunday.

Trump will also give a major speech on the Islamic faith during visit to Saudi Arabia, home to the religion’s holiest shrines, the White House said on Tuesday.

“He will meet and have lunch with leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries, where he will deliver an inspiring, direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam,” National Security Advisor HR McMaster told reporters.













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