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President Trump speaks at the Arabic Islamic American Summit in the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh
President Trump speaks at the Arabic Islamic American Summit in the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh

In his first public address abroad  since taking office on January 20th, U.S. President Donald Trump compared Sunday Hezbollah to other extremist organizations such as Islamic State and al-Qaida and praised the Lebanese army for fighting IS and hailed Lebanon for hosting a huge number of Syrian refugees.

“We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure,” said Trump in his  speech at  the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh.

“The true toll of ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” Trump added.

Praising  the Gulf Cooperation Council for “blocking funds  for terrorists”  and ”  designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year,” Trump praised Saudi Arabia for joining Washington this week in “placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah,”  Hashem Safieddine, who  heads up   Hezbollah’s  executive council.

“Of course, there is still much work to be done,” Trump added.

He pointed out  that “from Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.”

“For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” Trump charged.

In addition to Lebanon he applauded  Jordan and Turkey for “their role in hosting refugees.”

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