YEAR IN REVIEW 2017: Together we prevail: Trump’s Saudi visit celebrates a healthy partnership

US President Donald Trump dances with a sword as he arrives at a welcome ceremony by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman at Al-Murabba Palace in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 31 December 2017

YEAR IN REVIEW 2017: Together we prevail: Trump’s Saudi visit celebrates a healthy partnership

JEDDAH: The president of the world’s strongest political and military power made the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia his first destination after being inaugurated as president of the US. His visit on May 20, 2017, was a landmark occasion that announced to the world the importance of Saudi-US relations.
“Together we prevail” was the slogan celebrated throughout the Kingdom, specifically in Riyadh. The streets were decorated with Saudi and US flags. Posters of the two leaders were seen on every corner. If anything, this was a clear message for the world to witness the importance of these relations and the Kingdom’s strong stance and influence, as opposed to during the Obama administration when Saudi-US relations were strained because of disagreements on policies.
King Salman presented Donald Trump with the Kingdom’s top civilian honor when the president was recognized for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world.”
Three major summits took place that cemented Saudi-US relations and fortified them for all the world to see. The Saudi-US Summit, which featured a series of bilateral meetings between King Salman and Trump, focused on reaffirming the long-standing friendship, and strengthening the close political, economic, security and cultural bonds between the two nations.
At the GCC-US Summit, Gulf Cooperation Council leaders met with Trump and discussed threats to regional security and stability, and the building of stronger commercial ties between the US and the Gulf. This was followed by the Arab-Islamic-American Summit.
During his visit, Trump and King Salman inaugurated the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI), which aims to promote moderation and counter the spread of extremism. The center is “the fruit of collaboration between Muslim countries that believe in the importance of combating terrorism,” said Nasir Al-Biqami, secretary-general of the GCCEI.
While the president was in Saudi Arabia, he enjoyed Arab hospitality, entertainment and coffee. A concert was held with Saudi singer Rabeh Saqer and American country singer Toby Keith. The concert proved that the two countries not only have strengthening relations in the arenas of politics, business and the economy, but also in music and entertainment.
A video surfaced during Trump’s visit in which he was instructed by King Salman on how to drink Arabic coffee. The king informed him that he should drink with his right hand, and Trump smiled and quickly moved the coffee to his other hand.
The king ended the visit with a speech touching on important points that concern both nations, focusing on terrorism and how to counter it, and abolishing all forms of extremism that lead to terrorism.

UAE body lauds Saudi Arabia’s efforts at enhancing security

Updated 17 January 2019

UAE body lauds Saudi Arabia’s efforts at enhancing security

  • “The Kingdom acts as a safety net for the Arab and Islamic worlds,” says Federal National Council chair

JEDDAH: A prominent member of the UAE Federal National Council (FNC) has praised the Kingdom’s efforts at enhancing security and development.

Amal Al-Qubaisi, FNC chairperson and speaker, met with members of the Saudi Shoura Council during a delegation visit to the UAE headed by Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, deputy chairman of the Saudi-Emirati Parliamentary Friendship Committee.

Al-Qubaisi reiterated that unity on various regional and international issues enhances security and stability.

“The Kingdom acts as a safety net for the Arab and Islamic worlds,” she said during a meeting at the FNC headquarters in Abu Dhabi. “King Salman is a father figure to both the Saudi and Emirati people.”

Al-Qubaisi said Saudi-Emirati strategic relations are reflected in coordination efforts between the Shoura Council and the FNC and commended the work of Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh.

Al-Ghamdi said strong fraternal relations between the two countries would strengthen regional unity and counter foreign actors attempting to sow the seeds of discord.

He also reiterated that the two nations share a common history, lineage and culture.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways that the council and FNC could enhance parliamentary relations.

The delegation also met with the Gulf Cooperation Council Parliamentary Friendship Group, which was headed by Mohammed Al-Ameri, chairman of the FNC Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee. FNC Secretary-General Ahmed Al-Dhaheri was also present at the meeting.

Delegation members also partially attended a regular FNC session, in which they got a glimpse into the council’s day-to-day operations.