Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince has hailed Donald Trump as a “true friend of Muslims” and said he does not believe the President’s controversial immigration ban targets Islam.
A senior adviser to Prince Mohammad bin Salman said the meeting marked a “historical turning point” in US-Saudi relations, which worsened under Barack Obama’s administration because of the nuclear agreement struck with Iran.
A statement said the prince’s visit had put “things on the right track” and marked a significant shift across politics, security and the economy.
“All of this is due to President Trump’s great understanding of the importance of relations between the two countries and his clear sight of problems in the region,” it continued, according to Bloomberg.
“Saudi Arabia does not believe that [the immigration ban]is targeting Muslim countries or the religion of Islam.
“This measure is a sovereign decision aimed at preventing terrorists from entering the United States of America.
“President Trump expressed his deep respect for the religion of Islam, considering it one of the divine religions that came with great human principles kidnapped by radical groups.”
Saudi Arabia has been accused of fuelling Islamist extremism with its adherence to fundamentalist Wahhabism and funding foreign mosques and schools that spread the ideology, sparking criticism from German intelligence services in a recent report.