Domingo, 25 Junio, 2017

Domestic Scandals Could Obscure Trump's Important Middle East Trip

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Manuel Armenta | 19 May, 2017, 19:01

American country singer Toby Keith, known for songs such as "Whiskey Girl" and "Beer For My Horses", is scheduled to perform in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, this weekend in an event that coincides with President Donald Trump's first overseas visit.

But however powerful the images of Trump's globe-trotting turn out to be, they have little chance of eclipsing the scandals convulsing his White House back home.

And while the President and Saudi leaders may agree on many policy issues, the summit does present several areas of potential conflict.

President Trump's first stop on his multi-country trip will be to Saudi Arabia.

From there it's on to the Vatican and a meeting with Pope Francis who had been critical of the Trump campaign's positions on immigrants.

After visiting Saudi Arabia, Trump will visit Israel and Vatican City before he attends North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G-7 summits in Brussels and Sicily, respectively.

During the third summit, which will include the leaders of a number of Arab and Muslim states, Trump is expected to deliver a speech on the religion of Islam, the US' positive relationship with it, and the distortion of the positive image of Islam by groups who use it for their own violent gains, exhorting the gathered Arab Muslim leaders to fight this distortion in any way they can. Although Trump didn't explicitly endorse his opponent Marine Le Pen, he clearly had an affinity for her nationalist ideas and she an affinity for his.

Trump's lack of foreign travel has even landed him with a nickname: the "Homebody President".

Information for this article was contributed by Aya Batrawy of The Associated Press; by Tracy Wilkinson of Tribune News Service; and by Ben Hubbard of The New York Times.

But Mr Trump did not campaign on foreign policy.

And just because Trump is away from the United States, the barrage of blockbuster news stories about his administration is unlikely to stop, meaning that his harried staff will be forced to come up with crisis management strategies from many time zones away from the White House. "He represents the United States, even if we are setting kind of a low bar for this trip - if he doesn't make mistakes".

As a builder, they think Trump will be impressed by the construction. How likely is this all to follow the president overseas?

"President Trump understands that America First does not mean American alone - to the contrary", insisted his national security advisor, H.R. McMaster. The Trump administration will have to waive more sanctions next month if it wants to stick by the nuclear deal. "He's already a president viewed skeptically by much of the world".

However, under the Trump administration, relations have warmed and the U.S. is fully supporting Saudi Arabia in its regional role.

"There has never been a president taking his first global trip being dogged by scandal like this", said Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Trump then heads to Italy for a meeting with the pope, that will be followed by the G7 Summit in the southern part of the country and then on to Brussels for a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The centerpiece of the trip is Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he will publicly embrace the reform agenda of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and moderate Arab allies, such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince and military leader of the United Arab Emirates.