Trump to wade into Middle East politics on first foreign trip

The official did not provide any specific details and refused to say whether or not Trump will work to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas while on the trip.

The senior Administration officials cast the trip as a shift in Trump's foreign policy, away from the calculating isolationism Trump called for in his campaign toward a more internationalist view.

Although the kingdom is a long-time U.S. ally, Trump will be the first president since Jimmy Carter not to visit Canada or Mexico first. He has also suggested he will pay reciprocal visits to the United Kingdom and Japan, whose leaders visited the White House during Trump's first month in office.

He will also visit Jerusalem, Israel, Riyadh and Saudi Arabia, a senior administration official was quoted by CNN, as saying.

"I think what the president has demonstrated already and will be able to demonstrate further on this trip is that 'America First' is fully compatible with American leadership in the world", the official said.




From Saudi Arabia, Mr Trump will travel to Israel - leaving open the possibility of an additional stop in the West Bank. Francis wants bridges between nations, not the walls Trump is building.

Their relationship got off to a rocky start when, during the US presidential campaign, Francis famously said that anyone who wants to build a wall to keep out foreigners is "not Christian". Trump shot back that it was "disgraceful" for a religious leader to question someone's faith. NATO's next summit is not scheduled until next year in Istanbul, but the May 25 meeting was specially scheduled to enable other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders to meet with Trump.

The US president will meet the Pope ahead of the G7 summit in Sicily at the end of May.

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up during a National Day of Prayer event at the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday.

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