Trump and wife Melania descended from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to an enthusiastic greeting by high-level Saudi officials, a military brass band and a fighter jet flyover.
But White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump has yet to see the version of the speech acquired by the AP and “is writing a final version”. Her decision not to cover her head when she attended the funeral of King Abdullah in 2015 sparked some backlash on Saudi social media, with some people tweeting under the hashtag #Michelle_Obama_unveiled, The Telegraph said.
Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka also did not have her hair covered when she emerged from Air Force One in a long-sleeved black-and-white maxi dress, holding her husband Jared Kushner’s hand.
The 81-year-old King Salman greeted Trump at the airport.
After a royal banquet, Trump and the king were to have private talks and participate in a signing ceremony for a number of U.S. -Saudi agreements, including a$100 billion deal for Saudi Arabia to buy American arms.
On Sunday President Trump will try to address these concerns in a speech to more than 40 leaders of Muslim nations in which he will call for a united stand against extremism and intolerance.
Recall Trump caused controversy during his campaign by calling for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the USA over security concerns.
This certainly seems like a far cry from the tough-talking candidate who vowed to make other countries fear him, especially in the Muslim world.
Trump wants Gulf states in particular to do more to tackle extremists such as the Islamic State jihadist group.
The visit to the kingdom’s capital kicked off Trump’s first foreign trip as president, an ambitious, five-stop swing that will take him through the Middle East and into Europe. After two days of meetings here, Trump will travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and meet with allies at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 powerful nations in Sicily.
After two days of meetings in Saudi Arabia, Trump was scheduled to travel to Israel, meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and join the world’s major industrial nations at a Group of Seven gathering in Sicily.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that an unidentified senior Trump adviser was being considered a “person of interest” in the law enforcement investigation.
Trump and the US delegation, which includes virtually his entire senior White House staff and some of his Cabinet, were treated like royalty in a series of welcoming ceremonies. Trump has denied collusion and denounced the appointment of a special counsel as a “witch hunt”.
The US State Department’s website says women who choose not to conform to wearing “a full-length black covering known as an abaya, and cover their heads. face a risk of confrontation by Mutawwa and possible detention/arrest” in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Trump has agreed to a defence cooperation deal with the Saudis, pledging 110 billion U.S. dollars effective immediately and up to 350 billion United States dollars over 10 years. The next leg in Israel could be more complicated, despite the history of warm ties between Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
They did not, in keeping with the modern tradition of visiting western dignitaries. On Tuesday Trump heads to Rome to meet with Pope Francis.
Tillerson said the two nations have “like-minded” goals in the security and economic spheres. The president will then meet North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members in Brussels and attend a G7 summit in the Sicilian town of Taormina.