Trump heads for Saudi Arabia on first foreign tour

Trump heads for Saudi Arabia on first foreign tour
He has strongly criticised the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee an inquiry into alleged Russian influence on the US election.

The trip takes in the capitals of the three major monotheistic religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Mr Trump will attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and speak about his "hopes of a peaceful vision of Islam," the White House said.

US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said the president would deliver a speech expressing hope that such a vision would resonate worldwide.

"What President Trump is seeking is to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity," he told reporters.

Mr Trump caused controversy during his campaign by calling for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns. Legislation aimed at restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries remains tied up in the US courts.

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Media captionAdel al-Jubeir: Islam is part and parcel of the American social fabric

The summit agenda is expected to focus on combating Islamist militants and the growing regional influence of Iran.

Mr Trump has been a fierce critic of the Iran deal which eased sanctions in return for a curb on its nuclear activities.

One leader who will not be attending the summit will be Sudan s President Omar al-Bashir . President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges and the US was reported to be unhappy about his planned attendance.
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