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Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vatican, meet with pope

The announcement of the trip came a day after Mr. Trump hosted President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority at the White House, the latest of his meetings with many leaders from the Middle East, including those from Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

Describing the visit as historic, Jubeir said Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia would include a bilateral summit, a meeting with Arab Gulf leaders and another with leaders of Arab and Muslim countries.

The foray on to the world stage will also include meetings with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a summit in Italy.

Speaking to reporters after the Trump administration said the president would visit Riyadh as well as Israel later this month, Adel al Jubeir said Trump had a high probability of succeeding in his efforts to secure a peace deal with Israelis and Palestinians because of his "fresh" approach.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Mr Trump in Washington in March in a visit hailed by a senior Saudi advisor as a "historical turning point" in US-Saudi relations.

"We thought (going to Saudi Arabia first) was very important because obviously people have tried to portray the president in a certain way", the official said.

"Our task is not to dictate to others how to live but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East", he added. Trump can leverage both into pushing for enough concessions to get talks restarted, while also giving Netanyahu assurances that his administration will have Israel's back more than the previous one. "It will change the conversation with regards to America's relationship with the Arab and Islamic world".

Trump could reverse a trend of increased travel for presidents in the last 50 years or so.

President Obama met Pope Francis twice ― once at the Vatican in 2014 and also during the pontiff's trip to the United States in 2015. His wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner (who also serves as a middle east adviser) are planning to join him, the Ynet news website reported.

During a February 18, 2016, in-flight press conference, Reuters reporter Philip Pullella asked the Pope to respond to Donald Trump's immigration stand.

Francis recently called for the USA and North Korea to step away from the brink and use negotiations and diplomacy to diffuse tensions on the Korean peninsula - an issue that is likely to feature in any Vatican audience.



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