Trump arrives in Riyadh, meets with King Salman

Trump arrives in Riyadh, meets with King Salman

Trump arrives in Riyadh, meets with King Salman

The first lady is joining the president for some events, but will participate in other events on her own.

A top Saudi cleric on Friday described as "blessed" an Islamic summit in the capital Riyadh at the weekend to be attended by Muslim leaders and US President Donald Trump.

The scandals have revived questions about his ability to strike a presidential tone with his foreign counterparts, with Trump declaring himself the victim of the "greatest witch hunt" in American political history. "Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead".

In another "Nixonian" gesture, President Trump has organized a small worldwide tour, recalling former President Richard Nixon's famous trip to the Middle East and Europe in June 1974, weeks before resigning from his post as president.

The total trip is nine days.

President Donald Trump had criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a head scarf during a January 2015 visit to the nation with then-President Barack Obama.

There, I will address a historic gathering of the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations, he said.

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By contrast, Trump hails America's friendship with Saudi Arabia, which "stretches back many decades, and covers numerous dimensions".

He'll participate later in an arrival ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court and a luncheon banquet, followed by a bilateral meeting with the king, a signing ceremony and a meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince.

Trump has called his first foreign trip "crucial", despite the fact the trip couldn't come at a worst time for the President: His administration is now consumed by the naming of a special counsel by the Justice Department to look into Russia's connections to the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

"The chance of something going wrong - you insult the hosts, you get sick, your boss gets sick, you miscommunicate with your hosts, you make a scheduling error, you need to change the schedule just hours before a meeting, the motorcade get stuck in traffic, or the plane is stranded due to bad weather - is extremely high", said Julianne Smith, senior fellow at the Center for New American Security.

The nation offered Trump an elaborate welcome. Billboards featuring images of Trump and the king dotted the highways of Riyadh, emblazoned with the motto "Together we prevail".

The Latest on President Donald Trump's first trip overseas (all times local): 10:25 a.m. President Donald Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia met briefly for a coffee ceremony after the president's arrival Saturday in Riyadh.

Known to dislike long trips, the president was joined by his wife Melania, who has until now cut a highly discreet figure at his side.

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The best way to demonstrate that "we are back" is a presumed massive arms deal in Saudi Arabia, as well as a meeting with leaders of Muslim majority nations (those countries whose citizens are detained on immigration when attempting to enter the United States), to discuss "the projection of Iran's power in the region", according to the report.

Administration officials believe Trump's decision to begin his trip in Saudi Arabia sends a powerful message to the kingdom: the strained ties that marked U.S. -Saudi relations under Obama are over.

The visit is aimed at building stronger partnerships to combat terrorism in the region.

Debate has also intensified over whether the Trump will make good on his controversial promise to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, though it appears the US President, who has walked back several times on claims that he supported the move, will hold off on making a decision.

Trump flew to Riyadh overnight on Air Force One.

"He will encourage our Arab and Muslim partners to take bold, new steps to promote peace and to confront those, from ISIS to Al-Qaeda. who perpetuate chaos and violence that has inflicted so much suffering throughout the Muslim world and beyond", said Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

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