Trump touches down in Saudi Arabia for first overseas trip

President Trump touched down in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, marking the start of his first visit to a foreign country since taking office.

Saudi King Salman greeted Trump at the airport with a welcome ceremony meant to kick off the president’s whirlwind weekend in Riyadh. Over the course of two days, Trump is expected to spend a significant amount of time with the Saudi king and his son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has already visited Trump in Washington.

Trump is also expected to meet with leaders from Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait and Oman during his time in Saudi Arabia.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, told reporters on Air Force One that the president spent the 12-hour flight to Saudi Arabia meeting with his staff and working on his speech to the Arab Islamic Summit, which is scheduled for Sunday.

The choice of Riyadh for Trump’s first overseas destination was in part designed to signal the president’s intention to elevate the role of Saudi Arabia in the region after his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, spent years favoring Iran.

Throughout his visit to the Middle East — which will include a stop in Israel — Trump will focus on the fight against the Islamic State and the need to include the Muslim community in countering extremism, the White House has said.

Trump is scheduled to leave Saudi Arabia early Monday morning, which will be late Monday evening in Washington.

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner


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