In call, Trump, Saudi king pledge to step up counter-terrorism push: source

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 29, 2017 4:55 PM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman spoke for over an hour by telephone on Sunday, agreeing to step up counter-terrorism and military cooperation and enhance economic relations, a senior Saudi source said.

The source had no word on whether the two leaders discussed Trump's order to put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily ban travelers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries.

The 22-member Arab League expressed deep concern on Sunday over Trump's order, saying the restrictions were unjustified.

The source said the call between the king and Trump "resulted in agreement on many important matters, including enhancing the participation of the two countries in fighting terrorism, extremism and its funding."

The leaders discussed heightening economic cooperation and said this could create more jobs in the two countries and boost exports, the source said, adding details of the economic cooperation would be announced at the appropriate time.

Both countries share views about Iranian policies in the region, the source said, suggesting Trump agreed with Riyadh's suspicion of what it sees as Tehran's growing influence in the Arab world. Iran denies it meddles in Arab countries.

The source said Saudi Arabia would enhance its participation in the US-led coalition fighting to oust Islamic State from its strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

(Editing by Ralph Boulton)