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Trump adds trips to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican before NATO, G7 summits

Trump adds trips to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican before NATO, G7 summits

Washington: The White House said that US President Donald Trump’s first overseas trip later this month since taking office will include additional stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.

According to a White House statement on Thursday, before attending the previously scheduled NATO and G7 summits in Brussels and Italian city of Sicily late May, Trump will travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, Xinhua news agency reported.

During his trip to Saudi Arabia, Trump will discuss with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud “issues of strategic concern, including efforts to defeat terrorist groups and discredit radical ideologies,” said the statement.

From there Trump will travel to Israel and meet both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump will discuss with Abbas “ways to advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as efforts to unlock the potential of the Palestinian economy,” it added.

However, it remains unclear from the statement whether Trump will meet Abbas in the West Bank.

Trump on Wednesday hosted Abbas at the White House, and pledged to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without mentioning support for the two-state solution.

After the trip to the Middle East, Trump will then meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican to “discuss cooperation between the US and religious communities in areas of joint concern,” the statement noted.

–IANS