President Donald Trump was showered with a lavish royal ceremony here Saturday during his first stop abroad as President; an intricate begin to a trip intended to reinforce international partnerships yet which aides now expectation can reset an outrage scarred story back home.
Trump’s stop in an eager Saudi capital is the first in a nine-day, five-nation swing through the Center East and Europe. The intricate agenda will take Trump to the capitals of three incredible world religions and acquaint him with the tiring pace of presidential foreign travel.
Trump left Washington as controversies twirled, all focusing on the charged ties between his crusade and Russia. He couldn’t totally get away from the tempest in Riyadh: at an evening news conference, his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was compelled to answer a question about the matter.
Be that as it may Trump’s first day on foreign soil continued without vital hiccups.
Saturday’s capstone was the marking of a $110 billion arms deal between the two nations; an agreement brokered basically by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The deal will bring American-made ships, planes, and bombs to Saudi Arabia, which is looking to support its regional military prowess.
The administration cast the agreement as a reestablishment of US commitment to the region. However, a hefty portion of the contracts incorporated into the agreement was affirmed by the Obama organization.
Trump and King Salman canister Abdulaziz Al-Saud administered the signing on Saturday afternoon during an extended ceremony in a substantial reception hall at the Royal Court. Multiple agreements amongst American and Saudi companies, including between the Saudi oil giant Aramco and different US firms, were inked during the event.
Trump commended the deals as “huge investments in the United States.”
“That was a huge day. Massive investments in the United States. Several billions of dollars of ventures into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs,” Trump said.
Air Force One landed earlier Saturday at the King Khalid airplane terminal in Riyadh, where Trump was welcomed on a red carpet-bedecked tarmac by King Salman and other high-level Saudi authorities. The grand welcome – which included a military brass band and a fighter jet flyover – showed exactly how exceptionally foreseen Trump’s landing was to this Middle Eastern kingdom.
It likewise appeared to be intended to compliment a President well known for a gilded way of life. In Riyadh, a five-story picture of Trump’s face was projected on the exterior of the Ritz-Carlton hotel where he’ll stay, and huge billboards of King Salman Trump have placed on the highway from the airport.
Saturday night was the first night Trump slept in a property that wasn’t his own since becoming President. He’s slept just at the White House, his Mar-a-Lago resort and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, since January.
“Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” President Trump tweeted soon after his arrival. “Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead.”
Trump and the 81-year-old Salman were found in friendly conversation inside the Royal Terminal soon after Trump arrived, and the two leaders shared a long drive from the airport to central Riyadh, where the President is staying.
Shortly afterward, the pageantry proceeded inside the Saudi Royal Court, where Salman gave Trump an overlaid necklace and medal, the nation’s highest honor. The distinction also was presented to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
After touching base with an escort of troopers on horseback, Trump was invited to the court to the strains of the American national hymn.
Joining Trump inside was a long parade of advisers, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, chief of staff Reince Priebus, senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, chief strategist Steve Bannon, press secretary Sean Spicer, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Trump’s former bodyguard, Keith Schiller.
Seating among the US advisers were the most influential people from the Saudi government, including Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the persuasive son of the king who is pushing for real changes in the kingdom.
Also accompanying the President: first lady Melania Trump, who landed Air Force One close by her husband Saturday in a black jumpsuit with a gold belt. Like former US first ladies visiting Saudi Arabia, Melania Trump’s hair was not shrouded in the local custom, and she shook Salman’s hand after touching base in the kingdom.
When ladies from Western countries visit Saudi Arabia, they usually do without a head covering. Michelle Obama took after that practice while going with her husband to King Abdullah’s funeral in 2015. In those days, Trump issued sharp criticism of Michelle Obama, writing on Twitter that she’d “offended” Saudi residents.
On Saturday, however, none of the ladies in Trump’s delegation covered their hair, and there had all the earmarks of being little dismay from the many Saudi men who welcomed them at the airport.
Uncertainty waits back home
Trump is setting out on his first worldwide trip at a moment of profound uncertainty for his young presidency. This week, the Justice Department delegated a special counsel to investigate Russian intruding in last year’s election, including potential ties between Trump allies and Russian authorities.
Trump has fueled the Russia contention by firing the man who was initially leading the Russia probe, FBI Director James Comey, in the precise bid to stop the investigation. Trump is additionally accused of uncovering high classified intelligence to Russian authorities a week ago during an Oval Office meeting.
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