My fellow Americans,
This weekend I begin my first trip overseas as president – a trip with historic significance for the American people.
I will be visiting with the leaders in many different countries to strengthen our old friendships, build new partnerships, and unite the civilized world in a fight against terrorism.
In that spirit of unity, I will travel to lands associated with three of the world’s great religions.
My first stop will be Saudi Arabia – the heart of the Muslim World. There, I will address a historic gathering of the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations. I will represent the views of the American people frankly and clearly.
Many of these leaders have expressed growing concern about terrorism, the spread of radicalization, and Iran’s role in funding both. Now it appears Muslim leaders are ready to take more responsibility and a much bigger role in fighting terrorism in their region. It’s about time we do it, we’ll do it together, but it has to be done.
America cannot solve all of the world’s problems, but we can – and we must – help any nation willing to join in the common cause of eradicating terrorism from the face of the earth.
Next, I’ll travel to the ancient city of Jerusalem to talk with my good friend, Prime Minister Netanyahu, about bringing peace and prosperity to both our nations. Israel is an important American ally, but in recent years we haven’t always treated them that way. It’s time to renew our friendship.
While I’m there, I’ll also meet with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Bethlehem to discuss ways to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
From there, I’ll head to the Vatican, where I will have the great honor of an audience with Pope Francis. I look forward to speaking with the Pope about how Christian teachings can help put the world on a path to justice, freedom, and peace.
I will also meet with friends and allies in Europe at a gathering of NATO in Brussels and at the G-7 Summit in Italy. Finally, I will close my trip by saying thank you to some of the courageous men and women of the United State Military serving their nation overseas.
In my Inaugural Address, I pledged to strengthen America’s oldest friendships, to seek new partners in pursuit of peace, and above all – to always put American people first.
I also pledged that our partners must show that they’re partners, they must show that they’re friends, and they must contribute financially to the tremendous cost – the money that we’re spending – is so big; it’s so much; and it’s not fair for our nation. They have to help and I’m sure they will. The fact is that I’m excited about new possibilities for peace and prosperity – and I hope you are too.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.