U.S. President Trump gave a speech today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Arab leaders where he shifted the blame to Iran for sponsoring global terrorism and outlined a new approach towards defeating global terrorism that called for principled realism and greater action to drive out the roots of terrorism through the opening a new global center for combating extremist ideology co-chaired by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
Admitting that America and Europe has suffered repeated barbaric terrorist attacks, President Trump pointed out that in terms of sheer numbers the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern nations.
“They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence” he said.
President Trump explained that today the U.S. and Saudi Arabia will make history with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology located in Saudi Arabia that is aimed at combatting radicalization.
“I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center- co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council” President Trump said.
“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership” President Trump added later.
Claiming that terrorists do not worship God and instead worship death, President Trump said that if we do not act against this organized terror, then terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread and peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence.
Describing the battle between “good and evil”, President Trump said this is not a battle between different faiths, sects, or civilizations and the consequences are we will all be judged by our people, history, and God if we don’t stand in uniform condemnation of the killings.
President Trump explained that a better future can only be achieved by driving out the terrorists and extremists.
“Drive them out of your places or worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of this earth!” said President Trump.
Admitting that the U.S. is adopting a “principled realism” based on discarding strategies that have failed and applying new approaches informed by experience and judgment, President Trump said that we must deny terrorist organization control of territory and populations while also strip them of their access to funds.
“We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements” President Trump said.
During his speech, President Trump emphasized that responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria by eradicating ISIS, and restoring stability to the region.
President Trump shifted the blame to Iran for sponsoring terrorism across the Middle East.
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region” President Trump said.
President Trump made it clear that Iran’s “most tragic and destabilizing interventions” have occurred in Syria.
“Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad regime, launching 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated” President Trump said.
President Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster was asked on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos about whether the Saudis are ready to change since they have also been backers of extremists across the Middle East and the world.
U.S. National Security Adviser McMaster said “we’re going to ask the Saudi to convince us” but noted that some very good first steps are being taken with the establishment of the center for combating global extremism.
McMaster said that it is critical to cut funding of the madrassas and mosques that spread radicalism and hatred.
“Funding has to be cut off to these madrassas and mosques that are fomenting hatred and intolerance. Funding has to be cut off to terrorist organizations through effective threat finance measures, and that’s a big part of the initiative as well” McMaster said.
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