Donald Trump is in Saudi Arabia - here's what you need to know

President Donald Trump has landed in Saudi Arabia as he begins his first foreign visit since taking office.

Trump flew to Riyadh overnight on Air Force One to become the only American president to make Saudi Arabia, or any majority Muslim country, his first stop overseas.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What’s the aim of the visit?

The visit is aimed at building stronger partnerships to combat terrorism in the region.

The scheduling choice is designed in part to show respect to the region after months of harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.

Trump will address the leaders of Arab and Muslim nations in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

What is he expected to say in his speech?

U.S. President Donald Trump, top right, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, center, shake hands
(Evan Vucci/AP)

According to a draft of a speech obtained by AP, he will say: “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilisations.

“This is a battle between those who seek to obliterate human life and those who seek to protect it,” the text reads. “This is a battle between good and evil.”

The speech envisions new partnerships with America’s traditional allies in the Middle East. It noticeably refrains from mentioning democracy and human rights – topics Arab leaders often view as US moralising – in favour of the more limited goals of peace and stability.

The White House said this is not a final draft and it could change leading up to Sunday’s speech.

What has happened on the visit so far?

President Donald Trump meets with Saudi King Salman
( Evan Vucci/AP)

The president and First Lady Melania Trump waved as they stood at the top of stairs that had been rolled to the side of the official presidential aircraft after it landed.

Mr Trump was greeted by King Salman, they exchanged a handshake and the president said it was “a great honour” to be there before they attended a brief coffee ceremony.

The First Lady wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt and did not cover her head, consistent with custom for foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

Where is Trump visiting next?

trump giving a speech
(Susan Walsh/AP)

The President will also travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and attend the Nato summit in Brussels and the G7 meeting in Sicily.


Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Trump tweets his thanks to Bannon after White House departure

Latest: White House confirms strategist Steve Bannon leaving position

Donald Trump in civil war with his own party over Confederate monuments

Here’s everything you need to know about Hope Hicks, the interim White House communications director

More in this Section

Finland stabbings probed as murder with possible terror motive

8 injured in Russia knife attack; knifeman 'liquidated'

The victims of the Spain terror attacks

Family of boy, 7, missing after Barcelona attack, fly out to search for him


Lifestyle

Classical Review: Ensemble Marsyas

Album Review: Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

In Vogue: Changing of the guard at iconic fashion magazine

Lidl and Heidi Klum - has the High Street reached peak collaboration?

More From The Irish Examiner