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Trump reinforces relations with Arab World
President Trump continued to reinforce American relations with leaders in the Arab World speaking with the President of Iraq and the Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar. The telephone calls come with days of Trump meeting with Israel’s rightwing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and as Israeli public opinion continues to swing towards extremism.
By Ray Hanania
President Trump continued his efforts to reinforce America’s relations making telephone calls on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 to the leaders of Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar.
Issues of immigration, Arab concern for the proposed move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, and the growing violence in Syria under dictator Bashar al-Assad were among the issues discussed.
Trump also reassured the leaders about his respect for Islam and continued relations with the 43 other Muslim nations not included in his contested immigration suspension that temporarily closes entrance to visitors from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia, all countries that are involved in serious violence and civil wars and whose border controls are compromised by weak and unstable governments.
President Trump spoke with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jabir Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait. The President reaffirmed the strong defense partnership between the United States and Kuwait and expressed appreciation to Kuwait for hosting U.S. military personnel.
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist groups. They exchanged views on mechanisms to address Iran’s malign regional activities.
More broadly, both leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening bilateral economic and education cooperation, building on the progress achieved at the 2016 U.S.‑Kuwait Strategic Dialogue. The two leaders agreed to remain in close contact on these and related issues.
President Trump also spoke Thursday by telephone with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Amir of Qatar.
According to Trump, they reaffirmed the close defense cooperation between our two countries and committed to strengthen efforts to defeat violent terrorists.
Regarding the situation in Syria, they agreed on the importance of defeating ISIS and establishing the conditions for a successful political transition. The two leaders committed to sustaining their efforts to strengthen economic and investment cooperation as well as stopping terror financing streams throughout the region.
More broadly, they agreed on the importance of working with other regional partners to diversify their economies, invest in the region, and provide more effective governance so as to better meet the aspirations of a rising generation. They agreed to remain in close contact on these and related issues.
Trump also spoke Friday with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq to underscore the support of the United States for the Iraqi people in our shared fight against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
President Trump emphasized the buildup of the United States military. President Trump also congratulated Iraqi forces on their recent progress in Mosul, thanked Prime Minister al-Abadi for his leadership, and expressed condolences for the many Iraqi lives lost in the counter-ISIS campaign.
The two leaders discussed the strong partnership between the Iraqi and United States militaries, as well as the great sacrifice by both countries. Both leaders spoke to the threat Iran presents across the entire region. They also reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term partnership between the United States and Iraq grounded in the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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