The choice is "between two futures," and "it is a choice America cannot make for you," he said, adding that "a better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists."
He said he didn't come to "lecture," but to seek an end to terrorism and the beginning of peace in the Middle East region, noting that roughly 95 percent of terrorist victims are themselves Muslim.
The president said he wants a partnership with people who share the same "interests and values" as the U.S., calling Islam one of the "great faiths" with an "ancient heritage" that has served as the "cradle of civilization."
In addition, Trump said the problem of terrorism is not "a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it...This is a battle between good and evil."
The U.S. president's more moderate tone on Islam, and indeed his unprecedented praise of some aspects of Muslim culture, is something Pope Francis would likely appreciate. The Pope has on multiple occasions warned against "Islamophobia," insisting that not all Muslims are terrorist.
However, while the two might have new-found common ground in terms of how they refer to the Muslim community, at least in the public sphere, Francis will likely take issue with the weapons deal signed by Trump and Saudi King Salman.
The deal guarantees the Middle Eastern powerhouse some $350 billion in weapons over the next 10 years, with $110 billion going into effect immediately.
Francis has consistently called for an end to the arms trade, criticizing nations that sell weapons to warring countries in order to keep the conflicts going that line their own pockets. The Pope has used almost countless occasions to insist for an end to this "scourge."
Saudi Arabia has also been criticized by many other Middle Eastern nations for funding ISIS, most directly through weapons sales.
But regardless of the deal, terrorism is sure to be one of the key topics discussed, and if Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia is an indication of how he intends to address the issue from here on out, the two just might be able agree on this point.
After leaving Saudi Arabia, Trump flew to Israel for an official visit in a bid to cement Israeli ties and help move forward on a peace deal with Palestine. After arriving this morning, he voiced hopes to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin of a broader peace deal in the region.
"You have a great opportunity right now. Great feeling for peace throughout the Middle East. People have had enough of the bloodshed and the killing. I think we're going to start see things starting to happen," he told Rivlin.
In a speech to Israeli Prime Minister on the tarmac, Trump said: "We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace, but we can only get there working together. There is no other way."
In a previous encounter, Trump had asked Netenyahu to "hold off" on building more settlements in order help give space to further peace discussions in the region.
Earlier this month Trump met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, telling him that when it comes to a deal that pleases both parties, "we will get it done."
The commitment to a two-state solution has been a longstanding priority for the Vatican, which was reinforced during a recent 2015 agreement between Palestine and the Holy See to promote religious freedom in the area.
Trump himself, however, has said his administration is not married to the idea of a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict, deviating from previous administrations on the issue.
While the Vatican and Trump might not agree on what exactly a peace deal looks like, it's likely to be a shared concern.
Another topic that could be a point of union between the Pope and the president is human trafficking; not necessarily because Trump himself has been a hardliner on the issue, but more likely because the president's daughter and high-profile adviser Ivanka Trump has made a commitment to it.
It is in this capacity that she is participating in each of the nine days of Trump's first trip abroad as president, including the public portion of his meeting with Francis.
While in Italy, Ivanka is also set to meet with the Community of Sant'Egidio, a group often praised by Pope Francis for their work with the poor and refugees, to discuss putting an end to human trafficking.
During the meeting, the Ivanka is expected to meet with several women who are victims of trafficking, and discuss various ways in which the Church and the U.S. government can collaborate on the issue.
So while there are clearly many areas in which Pope Francis and Trump diverge, the meeting will likely find both men seeking to find common ground.
Francis himself during his May 13 press conference refrained from making a premature evaluation of Trump, saying "I never make a judgment of a person without listening to them. I believe that I should not do this."
When the two finally meet, "things will come out, I will say what I think, he will say what he thinks, but I never, ever, wanted to make a judgment without hearing the person."
Peace and friendship are things that can't be forced, he said, explaining that they take daily effort and are "handcrafted."
"Respect the other, say that which one thinks, but with respect, but walk together," he said. Even if someone thinks differently, "be very sincere," and respectful.