President Trump and Saudi King Salman meet in Riyadh
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 14:45
Accompanying her husband on his first worldwide trip, USA first lady Melania Trump on Saturday stepped off of Air Force One conservatively dressed in long sleeves and trousers to conform to the strict dress code that Saudi Arabia enforces for its female citizens.
Trump and Salman spoke through an interpreter inside the airport terminal after the president stepped off Air Force One.
On Sunday, Mr Trump will attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and speak about his "hopes of a peaceful vision of Islam".
White House officials hope the trip gives Trump the opportunity to recalibrate after one of the most hard stretches of his young presidency. "We are here instead to offer partnership in building a better future for us all", the document said.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster added to the alarm by refusing to declare the Western Wall a part of Israel.
The combination of tough talk on Shia Iran, a lower-key focus on human rights, and the likely announcement of new arms deals should in theory earn the United States leader a warm welcome. "And, third, to broadcast a message of unity to America's friends and to the faithful of three of the world's greatest religions".
A White House official said the president is still working through five different drafts of the speech, which will be his first major foreign policy address. White House aides view the address as a counter to Obama's 2009 speech to the Muslim world, which Trump criticized as too apologetic for US actions in the region. He was insane, a real nut job. A planned speech at the historic desert fortress of Masada, where Jewish soldiers committed suicide rather than be conquered by the Romans, was nixed after the Israeli air force decided a helicopter landing was too unsafe at the UNESCO-listed archeological site, and White House officials refused to take cable cars to the summit instead.
Trump, who landed from Washington hours earlier, was slated to attend a welcoming ceremony and a lunch with Saudi King Salman.
This would cement the theory that the collusion between Trump and Russian Federation leading up the Presidential election did in fact reach the highest levels of government in America.
Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell was also spotted walking across the tarmac, dressed in a shorter dress under a black overcoat, and carrying what looked like a long black dress in her arms, but with no headscarf covering her hair. Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, Trump has until June to decide whether to sign a waiver to keep the embassy where it is.
Awad, the CAIR director, recalled how President George W. Bush took to the Islamic Center in Washington after the 9/11 attacks to declare that the USA was not at war with Islam. The administration has sent conflicting signals as to whether Trump will stick to his pledge.
Trump will avoid the tough anti-Muslim language from his presidential campaign as well as mentions of democracy and human rights, according to the draft speech, which remains subject to revision, the AP reported. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Sunday's "Meet the Press" he fears an embassy move would hurt negotiations.
But however powerful the images of Trump's globe-trotting turn out to be, they have little chance of eclipsing the scandals convulsing his White House back home. "There can not be lasting peace", he said, "unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate". Few Middle East analysts think that Mr. Trump's desire to reopen peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will bear fruit.
"There has never been a president taking his first global trip being dogged by scandal like this", said Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Still, the pope has indicated that he will not use a public meeting with Trump to challenge or embarrass the president.
"I wish that President Trump would take a page from that legacy, the legacy of President Bush reaching out in critical and tough times to the most vulnerable community", Awad said.
Trump's itinerary is heavy with religious symbolism.
Separately the New York Times reported that Trump boasted to Russian officials at a White House meeting last week that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" the president faced from a law-enforcement probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The Trump administration has threatened to pull out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation if member nations do not pay their pledged share of NATO's defense. Mr Miller is also known for his anti-Islam views, one of several such figures in the Trump administration. "The NATO allies would kind of like to know". And in Sicily, he will join fellow leaders of the Group of Seven nations, some of whom are deeply unsettled by his approach to world affairs. The difficulty is further magnified by the fact that Mr. Trump is embroiled in an uproar over allegations of Russian interference in the US election and his firing of Mr. Comey on May 9.