Friday 23 February 2018

Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia on first presidential foreign trip

US President Donald Trump is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C-L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) stop for coffee, in the presence of First Lady Melania Trump (2nd-R), in the terminal of King Khalid International Airport following Trump's arrival in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Jess Mason and Sylvia Westall

U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the first stop on his maiden international trip since taking office in January.

Top regional ally Saudi Arabia has said the trip will conclude political and commercial agreements and will help bolster the joint fight against Islamist militants.

Saudi and pan-Arab news channels showed Air Force One on the tarmac in Riyadh in front of a red carpet flanked by Saudi soldiers.

The White House hopes the trip will shift focus away from domestic controversies and on to his foreign policy agenda.

US President Donald Trump (C-L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) stop for coffee, in the presence of First Lady Melania Trump (2nd-R), in the terminal of King Khalid International Airport following Trump's arrival in Riyadh on May 20, 2017.
/ AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C-L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) stop for coffee, in the presence of First Lady Melania Trump (2nd-R), in the terminal of King Khalid International Airport following Trump's arrival in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has been enthusiastic about Trump's presidency after seeing his predecessor Barack Obama as too soft on its arch regional foe Iran and cool towards Washington's bilateral relationship with Riyadh, a mainstay of the Middle East's security balance.

Trump will make stops next week in Israel, Belgium and Italy. The trip has been billed as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while including meetings with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) stop for coffee, in the terminal of King Khalid International Airport following Trump's arrival in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (L) shows the way to US President Donald Trump (C-R) and First Lady Melania Trump upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C-L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) stop for coffee, in the presence of First Lady Melania Trump (2nd-R), in the terminal of King Khalid International Airport following Trump's arrival in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C) upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017, followed by First Lady Melania Trump (C-R). / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (2nd-L) and First Lady Melania Trump (C) take part in a welcome ceremony by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (3rd-R) upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017, accompanied Prince Khaled bin Salman (3rd-L). / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (2nd-L) upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017, followed by First Lady Melania Trump (R). / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (2nd-L) and First Lady Melania Trump (C) take part in a welcome ceremony by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (3rd-R) upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017, accompanied Prince Khaled bin Salman (3rd-L). / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Reuters

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