Trump calls India a victim of terror, but doesn't name Pak

22 May 2017

In what may be the first such unprompted acknowledgement by a US President, Donald Trump on Sunday named India as a victim of terrorism, adding, without naming Pakistan, that every country must ensure that terrorists don't find sanctuary within its borders.

"India, Russia, China, and Australia have all been victims" of terrorism, Trump told the Arab-Islamic-US summit in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, adding that those countries, as well as the US and Europe, have "suffered repeated barbaric attacks" and have "endured unspeakable horror".

In a carefully worded speech delivered to a gathering of about 50 leaders of Muslim-majority countries, Trump did not mention "radical Islamic terrorism", a term he often used during his presidential campaign.

Trump called upon the Middle East and Muslim countries to do their part to defeat terrorism.

"Terrorism has spread all across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land," Trump said. "Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion."

Urging countries to deny terrorists space to operate, Trump said, "The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil ... every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil."

Terming the Middle East as a holy land, Trump urged countries in the region to "drive out" terrorists.

"A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out! Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth," the president said.

Iran lambasted
Trump had special criticism for Iran, which just saw reformist President Hassan Rouhani re-elected, saying the country has "for decades ... fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror".

"It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room," Trump added.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back on Twitter, posting a seemingly sarcastic tweet that read " Iran-fresh from real elections-attacked by @POTUS in that bastion of democracy & moderation" Saudi Arabia.

Zarif suggested indicated that Trump had during his Saudi Arabia visit milked his hosts of hundreds of billions of dollars in business deals.

Trump signed deals worth nearly $400 billion. In his speech, he said the agreements will "create many hundreds of thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia". The agreements include a $110 billion Saudi-funded defence purchase.

Trump said the US will ensure that its "Saudi friends" get a good deal from "our great American defence companies, the greatest anywhere in the world".

"This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a far greater role in security and operations having to do with security," Trump added.

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