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Opinion: The Significance of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia By Ahmad Fagge

It is no longer news that US President Donald Trump has arrived in Saudi Arabia on the first leg of his first foreign trip since becoming US President, what is news is what are the drivable benefit of his visits to one of the most important Muslim country.

One can boldly state here that the mere visit alone prove that Trump is ever ready to establish a strong bond with Muslim countries to solidify the readiness of US support in fighting terrorism and terrorist organisation such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the rest.

Trump’s visit is seen as highly symbolic because it is the first time a US president has chosen Saudi Arabia as the first stop on a maiden trip. It is also an opportunity for Trump to repair Washington’s ties with its closest Arab ally. Most of Saudis were very proud and excited that the US president chose the Gulf country as his first stop.

Another major significance of the Trump’s visit is the announcement and signing of arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100bn, which is the biggest such agreement in history. The deal include Abrams tanks, combat ships, missile defence systems, radar and communications and cyber security technology.

During the visit another history was made as a result of a summit of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders, including those from the six nations that form the Gulf Cooperation Council, to discuss the fight against extremism. The Saudi foreign ministry emphasise that the historic summit should be the start to “building a partnership between the Arab and Muslim worlds and the United States at various levels”.

Even the Trump speech focus on Islam, calling for unity in the fight against radicalism and characterising the effort as a battle between good and evil. The meeting also include talks on Trump’s promise to restart peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The meeting conclude that a fresh approach could be helpful in solving this long-running conflict and President Trump agreed that there is no better time than now.

It is important to note that Trump’s visit comes at a time of need to support efforts and emphasize common values between the US and the Islamic world. Our enemies, whose lifelong aim has been to create harm, want nothing more than to drive a wedge between us. We must not allow them to.

To further tighten the relationship with US, the Saudi King at a ceremony at the grand Saudi Royal Court, placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the nation’s highest civilian honor, around Mr. Trump’s neck. The medal, given to Mr. Trump for his efforts to strengthen ties in the region, has also been bestowed on Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

In conclusion the visit and conference will expand the relationship between the two countries and the two strong world religions of Islam and Christianity. Here in Nigeria as one of the conference participant I believe it is a welcome deployment to the country and our people are very pleased with it as it will boost the security and tackle the menace of insurgency and activities of terrorism.

I wish our dear president Muhammadu Buhari is well for him to attend the event, but am confident the country’s representative will contribute positively to the success of the conference.

Fagge wrote this piece from Unguwar Fagge in Kano.

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