Trump opens first presidential trip abroad in Saudi Arabia

Posted May 20, 2017

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave for a two-day trip to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to attend an global Islamic conference, where he may also meet US President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia met briefly for a coffee ceremony after the president's arrival Saturday in Riyadh. He also read newspapers and caught a little sleep, said his chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Awwad Al-Awwad, minister of culture and information, said that more than 500 journalists from around the world would cover the visit of US President Donald Trump.

The king was to host the USA president and the US delegation later Saturday at the Royal Court for a banquet luncheon, presenting him with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, among the nation's highest honors.

The best way to demonstrate that "we are back" is a presumed massive arms deal in Saudi Arabia, as well as a meeting with leaders of Muslim majority nations (those countries whose citizens are detained on immigration when attempting to enter the United States), to discuss "the projection of Iran's power in the region", according to the report.

That move followed the president's surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey earlier this month, and his acknowledgment that frustration with the ongoing Russian Federation investigation factored into his decision.

According to Reuters, Trump may offer the Saudis an agreement with weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin for a $1 billion THAAD missile system, similar to the one that the USA has already sent to South Korea. In a tweet, Mr Trump said she had "insulted" her hosts.

The trip, billed as an opportunity for him to explain his "America first" agenda, will also offer his besieged White House aides a much relished chance to change the political subject.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump is scheduled have lunch with the leaders of more than 50 predominantly Muslim nations.

Asked if he urged Mr Comey at a February meeting to drop his probe of the Russian Federation connections of Mr Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, the president said: "No. No". The first lady is joining the president for the entire trip.

"We are not here to lecture - to tell other peoples how to live, what to do or who to be".

Trump's wife, Melania, and daughter Ivanka will accompany him for portions of the trip.

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.

Trump was less direct when Abbas visited the White House. On Wednesday, the Justice Department relented to calls from Democrats to name a special counsel, tapping former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller to lead the probe. "Getting ready for my big foreign trip", he wrote on Twitter.

Trump's account is delivering a diplomatic message.

According to Heritage Foundation senior fellow James Carafano, who was on the Trump transition team, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting also could give the administration the opportunity to roll out an Afghan war strategy.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", the committee chairman, Republican Richard Burr, said in a statement announcing the appearance. That includes France's newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, who denounced Trump's musings on abandoning the Paris climate treaty, a likely point of contention in Sicily.

He is making his first stop overseas as President in the country that is home to the two holiest Muslim sites, in what his top aides have described as an overtly symbolic gesture.