Trump starts overseas visit amid trouble in US

Dhaka,  Thu,  27 July 2017
Published : 20 May 2017, 17:59:30
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Trump starts overseas visit amid trouble in US

Multi-billion dollar deals between the US and Saudi Arabia will be signed on Saturday as US President Donald Trump's first foreign trip begins in Riyadh.

Trump and his wife Melania were greeted in the Saudi capital by King Salman on Saturday morning local time, reports BBC.

The eight-day trip will also take in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Brussels, the Vatican, and Sicily.

The visit comes as Trump faces uproar at home following his sacking of FBI director James Comey.

He has strongly criticised the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee an inquiry into alleged Russian influence on the US election.

Trump is accompanied on his visit by his daughter Ivanka, an unpaid White House adviser, and her husband Jared Kushner, a key member of the Trump cabinet.

Like British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on their recent visits to Saudi Arabia, Mrs Trump and Ivanka Trump did not wear headscarves.

In January 2015, Trump criticised then-First Lady Michelle Obama for doing the same. In a tweet, Trump said she had "insulted" her hosts.

On Sunday, Trump will attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and speak about his "hopes of a peaceful vision of Islam". Aides say the president hopes his speech will resonate worldwide and express "a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity".

Trump caused controversy during his campaign by calling for Muslims to be temporarily banned from entering the US over security concerns. Legislation aimed at restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries remains tied up in the US courts.

The summit agenda is expected to focus on combating Islamist militants and the growing regional influence of Iran.

The UIS president has been a fierce critic of the international deal with Iran which eased sanctions in return for a curb on its nuclear activities.

Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, he is not expected to highlight human rights during his trip.

In a tweet, King Salman praised Trump, adding that he hoped his visit would "strengthen our strategic co-operation". He later handed the US President Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz medal.

 

 
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