Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia

Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump arrived in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh Saturday morning, marking the kick-off of his first foreign trip as president.

The speech envisions new partnerships with America's traditional allies in the Middle East.

The first lady is joining the president for the entire trip.

Trump waved from the doorway after Air Force One touched down and before descending the staircase with first lady Melania Trump.

Media captionTrump's first trip: What's on the agenda in Saudi Arabia?

Trumpeters played and jets flew overhead with red white and blue smoke trails decorating the sky as Trump emerged from Air Force One in Riyadh.

"There has never been a president taking his first worldwide trip being dogged by scandal like this", said Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Trump has denied collusion and denounced the appointment of a special counsel as a witch hunt. The president's firing of Comey and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign's ties to Russian Federation past year have triggered a stream of bad headlines.

Pictures later revealed Melania was at the meeting with the King.

This was his second visit to the White House since Mr Trump took office.

But it's increasingly clear that the swirl of controversy will shadow Trump during his stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Rome, Brussels, and Sicily.

GE announces $15 billion of business deals with Saudi Arabia
He is expected to conclude arms deals amounting to $US100 billion, a boon for the US military-industrial complex. However, there was no confirmation or denial of this reported shooting down of an F-15 jet from the Saudis.

Trump wants Gulf states in particular to do more to tackle extremists such as the Islamic State jihadist group.

In a tweet, King Salman praised Mr Trump, adding that he hoped his visit would "strengthen our strategic co-operation".

Saudi's royal family is offering an elaborate welcome to a new US president for whom they have great hopes of resetting a bilateral relationship that became increasingly strained during the Obama administration over its pursuit of a nuclear agreement with rival Iran. During meetings this weekend, Trump will work to develop relationships with the leaders, with whom the USA hopes to partner on fighting extremism.

He's also expected to announce a series of new agreements with the kingdom, including a $100 million arms deal that was brokered primarily by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications and cybersecurity technology.

Vice Governor of Riyadh Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman and Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Datuk Zainol Rahim Zainuddin were present to welcome them. Trump's staff has become beleaguered in the wake of the Russian Federation headlines, with Trump contemplating large-scale changes to his team.

Trump waved as he stood atop stairs that had been rolled to the side of the official presidential aircraft as it landed at Riyadh's airport.

The US president and King Salman made their way to a reception room at King Khalid International Airport, where they chatted over coffee.

Shortly after taking office, Trump sought to block people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, but the travel ban has been blocked by federal courts.

Trump will call for unity in the fight against radicalism in the Muslim world, casting the challenge as a "battle between good and evil" and urging Arab leaders to "drive out the terrorists from your places of worship", according to a draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press.

The speech tempers Trump's previous anti-Islamic rhetoric, making no mention of "radical Islamic terrorism" - a term he routinely criticized Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for avoiding.

Like this: