President Donald Trump is expected to underline the need to confront extremism in Islam when he makes a speech in Saudi Arabia on May 21.
Donald Trump’s address, to a summit of regional leaders, will come on the second day of his first presidential trip abroad.
It is expected President Trump will attempt to strike a collaborative tone in attempts to bolster support for the US fight against ISIS militants.
On May 20, the US signed trade deals of $350 billion with Saudi Arabia.
This included the largest arms deal ever made in US history, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said was aimed at countering the “malign” influence of Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.
However, Donald Trump’s visit has been overshadowed by his political difficulties at home, namely the fallout over his sacking of FBI chief James Comey.
Donald Trump caused controversy during his campaign by calling for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns. Legislation aimed at restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries remains tied up in the US courts.
According to a report by CNN, the same man who wrote the travel ban – adviser Stephen Miller – has written President Trump’s speech about Islam.
The Associated Press, which was given copies of the speech by two sources, said the speech aimed to cast extremism as a battle between good and evil.
AP said President Trump will say: “We are not here to lecture — to tell other peoples how to live, what to do or who to be. We are here instead to offer partnership in building a better future for us all.”
President Trump has made a number of controversial comments about Islam, including suggesting he would be open to creating a database of all the Muslims in the US, linking the religion with violence.
He has also criticized other politicians for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” – a phrase which, according to advisers quoted in the US media, will not feature in the speech.
Donald Trump’s eight-day trip will also take in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Brussels, the Vatican, and Sicily.