US President Donald Trump today painted the fight against extremists as ‘a battle between good and evil’.
In his first major foreign policy address as President, Trump said that the fight against terrorism ‘is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between those who seek to obliterate human life and those who seek to protect it’.
“Terrorist don’t worship God. They worship death,” the President said while speaking in front of an audience of leaders from Arab and Muslim-majority nations here.
He said that the US ‘is prepared to stand with those leaders in the fight against extremists, but that those countries must take the lead’.
He urged them to drive extremists ‘out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your community. Drive them out of your holy land’.
Further he said that the overwhelming majority of victims of terrorist attacks are the ‘innocent people of the Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations’.
Speaking at the Arab-Islamic American Summit in Riyadh here, Trump said that ‘95 per cent of the victims of terrorist attacks are themselves Muslims’.
He said that terrorism must not only be measured by the number of dead, but the number of ‘vanished dreams’.
It’s a departure from his sometimes anti-Muslim rhetoric during his presidential campaign.
The President further said that ‘Washington seeks a coalition of nations in the Middle East with the aim of stamping out extremism’.
Trump promised ‘that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit cooperation and trust’.
'Every nation must eliminate terrorism from their soil'
Trump noted that every nation must shoulder the burden of eliminating terrorism from their countries.
“Every nation has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no quarter on their soil,” he said, adding that ‘terrorist groups do nothing to inspire but kill’.
He said all countries must work together to “honestly” confront “the crisis of Islamic extremists and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.”
Trump fell short of referencing “radical Islamic terrorism” — a term he uses frequently at home and has condemned President Barack Obama for failing to say.
‘Assad committed unspeakable crimes’
On Syria crisis, he said that President Bashar Assad has committed ‘unspeakable crimes’ bolstered by Iran.
Trump called upon countries around the world to work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Trump denounced Iranian aggression in the region, and said that the “longest-suffering victims” are the Iranian people.
He said that the Iranian people have “endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.”
Earlier, speaking at a gathering of the leaders of more than 50 majority-Muslim countries attending the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, King Salman of Saudi Arabia said that he ‘is committed to stamping out the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations’.
He said that ‘we all, peoples and countries, reject in every language and in every form damaging the relations of Muslim countries with friendly countries and profiling countries based on a religious or sectarian basis’.