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.”