Donald Trump lands in Saudi Arabia on first foreign trip as president
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 22:08
Trump was overheard asking the king.
Trump, who landed from Washington hours earlier, was slated to attend a welcoming ceremony and a lunch with Saudi King Salman.
White House officials hope the trip, complete with images of the accompanying pomp and pageantry of a president overseas, will help Mr Trump recalibrate after one of the most hard stretches of his young presidency.
Trump's account is delivering a diplomatic message.
Trump's meeting with Pope Francis - two men at odds on everything from climate change to refugee policy - remains highly unpredictable, although the pontiff says he will give America's bullish leader an open-minded hearing. Saudi Arabia won the first stop, a senior administration official said, after promising large USA investments - including purchases of hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of military equipment in the next decade and investments of as much as $40 billion from its sovereign wealth fund.
"Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted".
These meetings - including with new French President Emmanuel Macron - will be closely watched for signs of whether Trump and traditional United States allies in Europe can work together.
The president, first lady Melania Trump and top White House aides touched down Saturday morning in Riyadh.
Trump's stop in an enthusiastic Saudi capital is the first in an eight-day, five-country swing across the Middle East and Europe.
Trump and the king met briefly in the airport terminal for a coffee ceremony before the president headed to his hotel before the day's other meetings.
Trump will address the leaders of Arab and Muslim nations in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
US President Donald trump arrived in Saudi Arabia on May 20, the first foreign trip since taking the office, TASS reports.
Also joining the president: first lady Melania Trump, who disembarked Air Force One alongside her husband Saturday in a flowing black jumpsuit with a gold belt. Billboards featuring images of Trump and the king dotted the highways of Riyadh, emblazoned with the motto "Together we prevail".
The White House has laid out three purposes for Trump's trip: reaffirming USA leadership, building relationships with world leaders and broadcasting a message of unity to U.S. allies and to the faithful of three of the world's major religions.
Several jets also flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail.
The trip, which also includes stops in Israel, Italy and Belgium next week, has been billed by the administration as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while giving Trump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.
Some observers believe these threatening remarks by the Saudi defence minister on the threshold of Trump's trip to Riyadh were an attempt by Saudi Arabia to draw the U.S. president's support for anti-Iran efforts made by Riyadh and its allies. "I will be visiting with the leaders in many different countries to strengthen our old friendships, build new partnerships, and unite the civilised world in a fight against terrorism".