Trump's visit to the Kingdom will highlight the success of Saudi outreach to the new administration, and the president's determination to recommit to the Saudi-led alliance to confront Iran's regional ambitions.
"The President hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate across the world", McMaster said.
In his meeting with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem later, Trump will convey his administration's eagerness to facilitate an agreement that ends the conflict.
The Trump administration is also expected to announce $110 billion in advanced arms and training to Saudi Arabia during his visit to Riyadh on Saturday, US officials familiar with the deal told the Associated Press. "As to who will cooperate, we will have to wait and see".
It said one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion. So far, in his interactions with world leaders, Trump has softened from more absolutist positions he had coming in: the shift on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, not tearing up NAFTA, deciding China isn't a currency manipulator after all, to name a few.
Hoping to get away from heightened tensions in the U.S., Donald Trump will head out on his first foreign trip Friday as President of the United States.
No sitting United States president has ever visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, since American policy maintains that the final status of Jerusalem has yet to be determined. "The speech is meant to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America's commitment to our Muslim partners". "Reestablishing confidence is going to be a security goal", he adds, though it may "come at the potential expense of pressure on human rights".
The one area where Arab leaders would be most anxious to see an active U.S. role is in the revival of the Palestine-Israel peace process, which has been dormant for almost 25 years. Will he use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism?"
It's not as though Trump will steer clear of values statements while in the Middle East.
In Saudi Arabia, Trump is scheduled to give a speech to the leaders of some 50 Muslim-majority countries.
The post First stop Riyadh: A high-stakes, high-profile foreign debut for Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour. Although the Pope has said he would "never make a judgment about a person without hearing them out", other public figures on the continent have issued sharp criticisms of Mr. Trump.
"Actually a lot of his mistakes are self-imposed, reacting badly to things, and feeding the story rather than tamping it down, so if his attention is diverted from the domestic stage, it could actually buy him a bit of respite rather than following him around the world", Elliott said.
Mr Trump, who has expressed a desire for friendlier relations with Moscow, drew a storm of criticism this week when it emerged that he had shared sensitive national security information with Russia's foreign minister during a meeting last week in the White House.
His daughter Ivanka has said the Trump Organisation plans to build hotels in Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where one of his hotel projects collapsed in 2008 amidst a corruption scandal with his local partner Nakheel in 2008.
There's precedent for this: In 2016 when President Barack Obama traveled overseas, he was asked repeatedly - nearly exclusively it seemed - about the presidential campaign and then-candidate Donald Trump.