Saudi Cartoonists Show Trump Morphing From Enemy To Partner

Trump spoke in Riyadh of a "battle between good and evil," which was like music to the Saudis' ears

May 22, 2017 at 9:39 AM ET

After President Donald Trump departed from Riyadh to Tel Aviv, the Saudi press went out of its way to celebrate the American president’s promise to join forces and counter the Saudis’ foremost regional competitor, Iran, whom Trump said “fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.”

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” said Trump to an audience of dozens of leaders from across the Muslim world, after signing a $110 billion weapons deal with his Saudi royal counterpart, King Salman.  “This is a battle between good and evil.”

The conciliatory message delivered to Saudi Arabia, a top U.S. ally in the region, was distinct from the antagonism previously used by Trump when speaking against Muslims. Saudi state-owned Okaz newspaper said that Saudi Arabia saw “a new path for America-Islamic partnership against the violence” in an edition whose front page read, “Iran — the spearhead of global terrorism.” The Saudi al-Hayat newspaper also jubilantly marked “Islamic-American agreement” in its top article.

The Saudi state-owned Okaz newspaper

The leading story at the pan-Arab al-Sharq al-Awsat newspapercelebrated “Arab-American partnership to besiege Iran and extremism” and posted a cartoon showing Trump putting a wreath on a grave engraved with the words, “Obama’s Policies.”

Trump placing a wreath on a grave engraved with the words: “Obama’s Policies.”

Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia also inspired other Arab cartoonists in the region, who celebrated the Saudi-American alliance against ISIS and Iran.

“From al-Madina newspaper: The Riyadh Summit.” U.S and Saudi smashing Iran and ISIS terrorists

“From Al-Araby Al-Jadid: The salon of American interests.” Trump’s hair changing its shape from the word “enemy” into “friend” in Arabic

Trump’s first overseas trip comes as the president is mired in a string of domestic controversies over his team’s possible collusion with the Russians.

On his second stop, in Israel and the West Bank, Trump is schedule to meet separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with whom he is expected to discuss a regional Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.