Riyadh [Saudi Arabia]: While addressing the leaders of 50 Muslim-majority countries on Sunday afternoon in his first speech on a foreign soil, United States President Donald Trump called on the Middle Eastern countries to combat the crisis of Islamic extremism emanating from the region.
Terming the fight against terrorism as a “battle between good and evil,” and not a clash between “the West and Islam,” Trump sought to chart a new course for America’s role in the region – aimed at rooting out terrorism.
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilisations,” Trump said.
“This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil,” he added.
Trump began his speech by thanking Saudi Arabia for hosting the summit.
“I am honoured to be received by such gracious hosts. I have also heard about the splendour of your kingdom, but words cannot do justice to the hospitality you showed to us from the moment we arrived,” said Trump.
He added that Muslim leaders must do more to confront extremism.
“The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries and for their children,” he said.
The United States, for its part, will “make decisions based on real-world outcomes, not inflexible ideology,” and “whenever possible, we will seek gradual reforms, not sudden intervention,” he added.
Trump embraced a subtle but significant phrase “Islamist extremism” in his speech.
“That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires,” Trump asserted.
“And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians.” (ANI)