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Trump opens first presidential trip abroad in Saudi Arabia

Trump opens first presidential trip abroad in Saudi Arabia

The trip is partly cast as a kind of pilgrimage, with Mr Trump visiting the lands of origin of all three Abrahamic faiths - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - before travelling on to Europe for meetings with Pope Francis in the Vatican and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders.

First Lady Melania Trump was happy to be in Saudi Arabia as she thanked the capital of Riyadh for a lovely welcome.

Dogged by controversy at home, President Donald Trump opened a nine-day foreign trip on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, looking to shift attention from a spiralling political firestorm over his firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey last week. For the previous year, the kingdom, has committed genocide in Yemen with the help of USA -supplied arms.

"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.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, will host Trump at a summit on Sunday.

Air Force One touched down at the King Khalid airport in Riyadh at 2:45 a.m. ET (9:45 a.m. local time), where Trump was greeted on the tarmac by King Salman and other high-level Saudi officials. The exterior of the Ritz Carlton hotel, where the president will stay, has been lit up with images of the two leaders.

The king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud around Trump's neck at a ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh.

Ms Trump will also visit Israel's Western Wall during the overseas jaunt.

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.

The visit hopes to building stronger partnerships to combat terrorism in the region.

They also revived questions about his ability to strike a presidential tone with his foreign counterparts.

"We think President Trump's cabinet does understand the Saudi challenges and does understand the challenges the GCC faces". The two scions of powerful families, given huge responsibilities at relatively young ages, have been speaking since soon after Trump won the presidency in November and have emerged as the driving forces behind putting together a massive defense package set to be unveiled in the coming days, thought to be worth about $110 billion over the next ten years. He also read newspapers and caught a little sleep, said his chief of staff Reince Priebus.

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Before the latest reports, the White House had hoped to shift attention away from the political firestorm in Washington to foreign policy as well as the president's ambitious pro-business economic agenda in Congress.

As a reminder, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, in a May 2016 speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Americans not to elect Trump as president because of his position on Muslims; that same prince will be among those who will welcome the president to Saudi Arabia.

"Syria too used to be one of the most advanced countries".

Trump's nine-day trip will be daunting.

With his first stop at Riyadh, President Trump will focus on strengthening relations between the Saudis and America.

Mr Trump will meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, President Reuven Rivlin of Israel in Jerusalem and Pope Francis at the Vatican including a tour of St Peter's Basilica.

A foreign affairs novice, Trump will have to navigate many diplomatic land mines in his meetings, dealing with issues ranging from terrorism to trade to hot spots like North Korea and Syria. Post contributor Tom Toles (5/2/17) added, "Trump invites ruthless dictators to the White House".

Republican Virginia state Sen.

Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

"President Trump understands that America First does not mean America alone", said H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser.

No doubt that she would be surprised that Trump would be the one to build his first foreign trip on those premises.

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