By Arab News
The US President Donald Trump said the fight against extremism is “a battle between good and evil,” calling on Muslim nations to take a lead in stamping out terror.
“The path to peace begins right here,” he said.
The president, who is on his first foreign tour since taking office, was addressing leaders of Muslim-majority countries at the Arab Islamic US Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
He said that every nation must shoulder the burden of rooting our terrorism from their countries.
“Every nation has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no quarter on their soil,” he said.
Trump said terrorist groups “do nothing to inspire but kill.”
He said all countries must work together to “honestly” confront “the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.”
The fight against terrorism “is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between those who seek to obliterate human life and those who seek to protect it.”
He added that terrorists “don’t worship God. They worship death.”
Trump said the US is prepared to stand with leaders of Arab and Muslim-majority countries in the fight against extremists, but said those countries must take the lead.
He urged them to drive extremists “out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your community. Drive them out of your holy land.”
Trump pointed out that the overwhelming majority of victims of terrorist attacks are the “innocent people of the Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations,” saying that “95 percent of the victims of terrorist attacks are themselves Muslims.”
He said that terrorism must not only be measured by the number of dead, but the number of “vanished dreams.”
Trump also leveled criticism against Iran which he said had flamed the fires of sectarian violence from “Lebanon to Iraq, to Yemen.”
He said that nations need to work together to “isolate” Iran. “The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are the Iranian people,” Trump said.
Trump also said that he plans to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on his foreign tour, and said that peace between the two sides was possible.
Trump thanked King Salman for “investing in the future of this part of the world.”
He began his speech remarking on the “incredible hospitality” he had received in Saudi Arabia. He said that he expects the visit to herald “a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to all our citizens.”
King Salman spoke before Trump’s address, saying that Saudi Arabia had succeed in thwarting several terror attempts.
He mentioned the US-Saudi agreement, announced today, to establish a center to fight sources of terror financing. “We look forward to more countries joining the center in the future,” he said.
King Salman said he is committed to stamping out the Daesh group and other terrorist organizations.
Leaders from around the Muslim world gathered in Riyadh to hear the two leaders give their historic addresses.
King Salman and President Trump are set to inaugurate the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI), which will counter and prevent the spread of extremist ideology through promoting moderation, compassion and supporting the dissemination of positive dialogue.
Trump has been welcomed warmly in Saudi Arabia, where he and first lady Melania Trump were given an extravagant reception by King Salman and other members of the Saudi royal family.
Trump was awarded the country’s highest civilian honor, attended a series of banquets and receptions and bobbed up and down with dancers in a traditional sword dance welcome ceremony.