Trump's wife keeps her head bare during Saudi Arabia visit

Elias Hubbard
May 21, 2017

Fox News was clear: "Trump shakes hands with Saudi leader, doesn't bow as Obama appeared to do".

American and Saudi flags lined the highways of the country's capital, Riyadh, along with billboards featuring Trump's face. A military brass band played, cannons boomed and seven Saudi jets flew over in V-formation, trailing red, white and blue smoke.

With controversy surrounding alleged ties between his campaign and Russian Federation looming in the U.S., President Trump arriving in Saudi Arabia where he received a lavish royal welcome.

US delegation members travelling with Trump, including Kushner, were in high spirits leading up to the signing ceremony.

Tillerson said the arms package "bolsters the kingdom's ability to provide for its own security and contributing to counter-terrorism operations throughout the region".

Simultaneously, Saudi Arabia is in a broad-based push for economic reform, and as part of that effort signed a flurry of deals with private US companies worth tens of billions of dollars.

Air Force One departed Friday from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, outside Washington, with the president, first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as a group of senior advisers and journalists covering the trip.

Trump also held meetings with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his government, including the powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The leaders signed an agreement on $109 billion in new US arms sales to the kingdom and $200 billion of Saudi-backed investment over four years in USA infrastructure projects. Moreover, the President expressed his strong support for Saudi Arabia's economic reform plans and promoted US companies as ideal partners for Saudi Arabia's economic transformation, as illustrated by the many deals signed by USA companies during the President's visit. The Saudis are expected to purchase billions more in USA military equipment over the next 10 years.

Before leaving the United States Friday, Trump said he would use his trip to protect American interests.

The United States sealed a multi-billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the White House announced on Saturday, a move that solidifies its decades-long alliance with the world's largest energy producer just as President Donald Trump begins his maiden trip overseas as leader of the free world. The first lady is joining the president for the entire trip.

The president will be making five-stops-his next stop Israel, he's expected to meet with religious leaders and not politicians.

He'll also attend the opening of the new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.

It will be especially sensitive given tensions sparked by the Trump administration's attempted travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority nations and accusations of anti-Islamic rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Saphora Smith reported from London.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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