Saudi King invites Abbas to Muslim summit with Trump

Riyadh: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has received an invitation to attend an upcoming summit in Riyadh between Muslim leaders and US President Donald Trump, the reported on Wednesday.

The letter was delivered to Abbas in Amman by the Saudi Charge d’Affaires in Jordan, Tariq Rashwan, on behalf of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the Saudi Press Agency and Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

In the letter, King Salman said the Arab-Islamic-American Summit on 20-21 May aimed to address the challenges facing the Arab and Muslim worlds and to forge a new partnership to fight extremism and tolerance, Wafa reported.

“The summit will aim to strengthen our peoples’ security, stability and cooperation in the present and in the future by spreading the values of tolerance and peaceful co-habitation,” read the letter, quoted by Wafa.

Abbas was visiting Jordan on the first leg of a three-nation trip that also takes in Russia and India. He met Trump in Washington earlier this month and was among the first ten foreign leaders to do so.

King Abdullah II of Jordan, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou are among other leaders who have been invited to the Riyadh summit.

King Salman has asked Yemen President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to attend, the SPA said.

Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi have also been invited to the talks, Arab News reported Wednesday on its website.

Separate meetings will also take place in Riyadh between monarchs of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and Trump, as well as bilateral talks between the Saudi and US leaders, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia – which is home to Islam’s holiest sites – will be the first stop on Trump’s first foreign trip since becoming president in January. The four-day trip will also include Israel, a NATO summit in Belgium and a visit to Italy and the Vatican.

Trump’s aides described his decision to visit Saudi Arabia as an effort to reset relations with the Muslim world.

The Trump administration is currently appealing rulings against an executive order Trump issued in March that tried to halt new visas from six Muslim-majority countries and suspend refugee resettlement in the US, sparking widespread protests.