World

President Trump and Saudi King Salman meet in Riyadh

President Trump and Saudi King Salman meet in Riyadh

President Donald Trump meets officials at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport.

On the drive to the Ritz hotel where Trump is staying, King Salman rode with the president in the heavily armored presidential limousine nicknamed "the Beast".

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.

As he arrived, the president waved from the doorway of Air Force One and then descended the steps, joined by first lady Melania Trump.

US political opinions varied on the visit of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, as some politicians described it as an opportunity to unveil the president's stance towards Gulf, Arab and Islamic leaders, while others noted that such visit would promote partnerships and alliances with more than 55 Islamic countries around the world.

The White House was rocked by another bombshell when reports emerged that Trump said his firing of "nut job" Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him due to the investigation. At a rally in Green Bay, Wis., in August, Trump said, "We have military bases that we rent - we pay rent to Saudi Arabia to protect them".

Trump will also travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 meeting in Sicily.




Mr Trump's wife Melania was dressed demurely in a black pantsuit, but did not wear a headscarf.

Beyond his Muslim ban proposal and call to surveil U.S. mosques, Trump also said he was open to creating a database of Muslims in the United States - none of which he has disavowed.

The US provides weapons, intelligence and aerial refuelling to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Huthi rebels, who are backed by Iran and oppose the government of Yemen President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. However, when Saudi Arabia was asked whether although the first lady of the United States would have to dress appropriately, replied that Riyadh "usually does not require" a particular costume code, but "accepts the proposals". The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications and cybersecurity technology. On Thursday, it will be Belgium and a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at which Trump will meet new French President Emmanuel Macron.

"The president's visit has a chance to begin healing wounds that have been inflicted on Muslims the world over".

During a speech to Coast Guard cadets this week, Trump said that in his meeting with Muslim leaders he would "challenge them to fight hatred and extremism, and embrace a peaceful future for their faith". It noticeably refrains from mentioning democracy and human rights - topics Arab leaders often view as U.S. moralising - in favour of the more limited goals of peace and stability.

U.S. president Donald Trump will use his first visit to the Middle East to call for unity in the fight against radicalism.

While administration officials say Trump is a strong believer in human rights, they acknowledge this will not be a significant topic of discussion here.


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