President Trump, King Salman meet in Riyadh
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 22:17
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and U.S. President Donald Trump sit in a vehicle during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.
The host of the event declared that Trump was being honored for "his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world".
In Israel, Trump will meet his "friend" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem.
But it's increasingly clear that the swirl of controversy will shadow Trump during his stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Rome, Brussels, and Sicily.
Trump's daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner exited from the rear of the plane, holding hands as they walked across the tarmac.
Saudi officials told reporters ahead of the trip that they have been heartily encourage by the Trump administration's like-minded anti-Iran posture - a break from the Obama administration efforts of outreach to Iran. The two men are at odds on everything from climate change to refugee policy, although the pontiff says he will give America's bullish leader an open-minded hearing.
It is the President's first foreign trip since taking office.
The centerpiece of Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia is a speech Sunday at the Arab-Islamic-American summit.
Early on in his presidency, Trump signed an eventually unsuccessful travel ban that barred citizens from a handful of Muslim-majority countries, although not Saudi Arabia.
Despite his domestic troubles, Trump was expected to get a warm reception in Saudi Arabia.
While Mrs. Trump dressed conservatively Saturday in a long-sleeved, black pantsuit accented with a wide, gold-colored belt, her below-the-shoulder brown hair blew in the breeze at King Khalid International Airport in the capital city of Riyadh. He now hopes that his eight-day, six-country journey can turn the page politically, offering him a chance to demonstrate his singular brand of deal-making diplomacy.
The president began his visit with a coffee ceremony with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Saturday night, he'll attend a royal banquet at Murabba Palace followed by a tour of the National Museum.
The highlight of Trump's stop in Riyadh is expected to be a speech on Islam that he will deliver Sunday to the leaders of about 50 Muslim nations.
At a later ceremony at the grand Saudi Royal Court, the king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the nation's highest civilian honour, around Mr Trump's neck.
Billboards featuring the image of Trump and the king dotted the highways of Riyadh and lights bathed Trump's luxury hotel in red, white and blue lights and, at times, an image of the president's face.
Before leaving the United States Friday, Trump said he would use his trip to protect American interests.
Trump can expect a warm reception when he arrives in the oil-rich kingdom for talks with King Salman, but the domestic mood was grim following news that the FBI's investigation into his campaign's ties with Russian Federation extends to a current senior White House official.
More than thirty five leaders of Islamic world as well as the Secretary Generals of the OIC, Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council will attend the moot.
US President Donald Trump has left for Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip since becoming president.
His decision comes in part to show respect to the region after months of harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.
The Trumps will also visit Belgium, and the trip includes an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.