The elephant in the room is that Saudi Arabia is the main source of jihadi Islam in the world. At least, Sisi knows this. Hopefully good will come of this but selling $100 Billion worth of weaponry to the “good cop” of Islamic World Supremacy may not be good. They are too close to the ‘bad cops”.
Since 1979 Saudi Arabia has been funding radical Islam (see The Siege of Mecca)
From the WSJ:
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—President Donald Trump called on Muslim leaders across the globe Sunday to confront “the crisis of Islamic extremism” as he sought to rally Arab allies around a renewed, joint effort to combat terrorism and Iran’s influence in the Middle East.
Mr. Trump’s speech here set the tone for his first international trip as president, a nine-day journey that is putting him face-to-face with leaders across the Middle East and Europe. He said the U.S. global role should be guided by what he called a “principled realism” which appears to emphasize transactions on economic and security agreements over other issues such as human-rights abuses.
“We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes—not inflexible ideology,” he said in his remarks before several dozen Muslim leaders in the Saudi capital.
Mr. Trump urged other nations to share with the U.S. the moral and financial responsibility for global challenges. “Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization,” he said.
He sought to underpin his remarks with new security cooperation with America’s Arab allies. The measures include an agreement to target terrorism financing, with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia opening a center in Riyadh focused on the effort, and the formation of a military alliance in the Gulf that would coordinate with the U.S. to counter shared regional threats.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia agreed during the weekend to a $109 billion arms package and a further $300 billion in other deals and potential investments.
“This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a far greater role in security and operations having to do with security,” Mr. Trump said.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who spoke at the summit alongside Mr. Trump, pledged that Muslim leaders will “not hesitate to prosecute anyone who supports or finances terrorism in any shape or form.”
Mr. Trump’s speech marked a departure from his rhetoric toward Muslims during the presidential campaign, the intention of the shift being to gain traction for important elements of his policy agenda. Most notably, Mr. Trump decided not to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” He had pointedly used the term both as a candidate and as recently as last week.
Instead, he made a conciliatory effort to draw a distinction between religion and terrorism carried out in its name. It “is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations” but “a battle between good and evil,” he said.
“Terrorists do not worship God. They worship death,” Mr. Trump said. “Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear,” he added, that “if you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief and your soul will be fully condemned.”
Aaron David Miller, a former senior State Department official now at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said Mr. Trump handled a tricky speech fairly well.
“He made a few of the right points, missed many of the bad ones, dodged the bullet on formulations of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ that could be seen as terribly offending,” he said.
King Salman issued his own condemnation of terrorism as contrary to the teachings of Islam.
Both the U.S. and Saudi leaders delivered harsh rebukes of Iran, which on Saturday re-elected moderate President Hassan Rouhani over a hard-line opponent. King Salman said the Iranian regime is among those who exploit Islam to achieve its political goals.
Riyadh severed diplomatic relations with Iran in early 2016. Tensions between the two countries, which back opposite sides of conflicts in Yemen and Syria, have played out across the Middle East and heightened tensions between Sunnis and Shiites.
“Iran funds arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremists groups that spread destruction and chaos,” Mr. Trump said.
Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, a Middle East expert who focuses on Iran at Royal United Services Institute, a London think tank, said Mr. Trump’s approach to Iran is likely to harden Saudi opposition to pursuing dialogue with Iran, and the country will “instead continue framing its policies in the region through a sectarian lens.”
Mr. Trump said the Middle East could undergo “a new renaissance” if terrorism were confronted. The first test for Muslim-majority nations is “to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil,” ensuring “terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil,” he said.
“This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people all in the name of religion,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump avoided sensitive issues of human rights, repressive regimes and official support for Muslim clerics in the region who inspire some militant extremists. The absence of a human rights discussion drew quick criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
During his visit, U.S. officials didn’t publicly raise human-rights abuses by Saudi Arabia, which the American government has criticized in the past.
“I think this is a broader element of the administration’s policy, that they’re going to de-emphasize issues of human rights, that what countries do within their own boundaries, we’re essentially going to look the other way,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif…..).
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said on CNN “State of the Union” Sunday that his own approach is to be “much more forceful and open and vocal about criticizing whether it’s Egypt or Saudi Arabia for its human-rights record.”
Speaking in a nation with some of the most restrictive policies toward women, Mr. Trump briefly mentioned the importance of “empowering women.” Earlier Sunday, the World Bank announced at an event with the president’s daughter and senior White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged a combined $100 million to a fund that will assist women entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
Mr. Trump stressed that, under his leadership, the U.S. won’t lecture other countries about “how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship.”
Much of Saudi Arabia’s leadership follows Wahhabism, an austere form of Sunni Islam. Gender mixing in public is technically not allowed, shops close for the five daily prayers and women are forbidden to drive and required to wear full-length robes. Under Saudi law, women also need the permission of their male guardian—a father, husband or son—to travel abroad or marry.
Public displays of dissent—particularly if targeted at the ruling monarchy—aren’t tolerated. The minority Shiite Muslims are subject to widespread discrimination. Non-Muslims aren’t allowed to practice their faiths publicly.
The country’s strict social rules are slowly beginning to relax. King Salman recently called on government ministries to review the requirements on male guardianship.
U.S. officials noted the country’s budding changes during Mr. Trump’s visit. But they overwhelmingly focused on the possible economic and security transactions the two countries could undertake.
The new Arab security coalition would expand the close cooperation that already exists between the U.S., Gulf monarchies, Egypt and Jordan. It would focus on defense and deterrence, counterterror financing and confronting extremist ideology, a senior U.S. official said. For the Arab countries involved, the alliance is expected to have a mutual-defense component modeled after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
“It’s good for the United States because it’s about responsibility and burden sharing,” the U.S. official said.
Mr. Trump is seeking warmer U.S. relations with Arab allies in part to enlist their help in pushing for a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians and a broader thaw between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Mr. Trump’s softer tone on Islam as a tolerant religion could play well among some in the region. But it also risks alienating some of the president’s supporters back home.
Roger Stone, a Republican operative closely involved with Mr. Trump’s campaign, responded to a photograph of King Salman placing a medal around the president’s neck by writing on Twitter: “Candidly, this makes me want to puke.”
As a candidate, Mr. Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and said “Islam hates us.” He also repeatedly criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for refusing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“The first thing you need is a president that will mention the problem, and he won’t even mention what the problem is,” Mr. Trump told CNN last September. “Unless you’re going to say that, you’re never going to solve it.”
As president, Mr. Trump has issued two travel bans targeting Muslim-majority countries (not Saudi Arabia) he deemed terrorism threats. Both orders are now tied up in the courts. In a May 17 commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, he said, “We have to stop radical Islamic terrorism.”
On Sunday, Mr. Trump deliberately opted not to use that phrase. His prepared remarks cited the threat of “Islamist extremism.” In the speech he ultimately delivered, the president tweaked the phrase a bit. He stressed the need to combat “the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.”
A senior White House official explained the president’s stumbling over his prepared remarks by saying, he was “an exhausted guy.”
While many Saudis have been delighted by Mr. Trump’s visit, and he received a warm welcome from the royal family, the reaction from Arabs across the region has been more critical.
From Islamists to pro-democracy advocates, many have responded harshly to a U.S. president who has spoken of a ban on Muslims. Others simply saw Mr. Trump’s elaborate reception from the Saudi monarchy as another sign that the administration wouldn’t soon push the region’s autocrats toward democratic reform.
—Tamer El-Ghobashy in Erbil, Iraq, contributed to this article.