RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Trump peddled American-made military equipment to the Arab world Sunday as he prepared to deliver a much-anticipated address to Muslim-led countries to enlist their help in combating terrorist.
"One of the things that we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment because nobody makes it like the United States," Trump said in a meeting with the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. "And for us that means jobs, and it also means frankly great security back here, which we want."
Trump's back-to-back meetings with leaders of Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait and Oman come at a larger gathering of leaders from throughout the Arab Islamic world. Trump began his nine-day foreign trip Saturday with a warm welcome in the Saudi capital.
"You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible," Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told Trump at their meeting Sunday.
"I agree," the president responded.
The centerpiece of the summit will be a much-anticipated speech Sunday in which Trump said he would "represent the views of the American people frankly and clearly."
Exactly how frankly remains to be seen. Drafts of his speech leaked to the Associated Press do not contain the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism," a phrase Trump criticized Obama for not using to describe the extreme ideology that fuels organizations like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
And even before the speech, the Saudi government applauded Trump for taking a "very bold and very historic step" to change the conversation — even using Trump-like language to describe the effort.
"If we can change the conversation in the Islamic world from enmity towards the U.S. to partnership with the U.S., and if we can change the conversation in the U.S. and the West away from enmity toward the Islamic world toward a partnership, we will have changed our world," said Saudi Foreign Minister Abel al-Jubeir. "We will have truly drowned the voices of extremism and we will have drained the swamps from which extremism and terrorism emanates."
To drain that swamp, Trump will also emphasize some of the same tools President Obama did. He'll tour a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh on Sunday, and participate in a "Tweeps Forum" intended to combat extremism on social media.
But in addition to those strategies, Trump also emphasized the collective use of hard power. On Saturday, he inked a $110 billion arms sales agreement with Saudi Arabia, a deal the White House said would create U.S. jobs and have Saudi Arabia begin to take more responsibility for regional security.