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Trump Arrives in Riyadh, Summit to Enhance Relations and Cooperation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and US President Donald Trump’s photos are seen on a road to the airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to celebrate Trump’s trip. (Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters)

Riyadh- US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania arrived in Riyadh on Saturday on a historic visit to the Kingdom, where Trump met with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

A red carpet was rolled out and staircase rolled up at King Khalid International Airport to Air Force One from where Trump and his wife emerged.

The US president and King Salman made their way to a reception room at the airport, where they chatted over coffee. They later headed to Trump’s place of residence at a hotel in Riyadh.

Trump’s daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner exited from the rear of the plane.

The president’s bilateral talks with King Salman are expected to revive a new page of historic and strategic relations between the two countries.

Trump is also expected to meet with Saudi officials with an aim to enhance historic relations and will participate in a signing ceremony of several agreements that will further solidify US-Saudi security and economic cooperation.

The US President will attend a summit with leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council to enhance strategic ties between the US and GCC states. During the summit, both sides would discuss several initiatives on armament, the confrontation of terrorism, in addition to security and economic issues.

On Sunday, Trump will meet with Arab and Islamic leaders to renew US commitment to the security of its allies in the region and the world and to tackle means to confront terrorism and international extremism.

The summit on Sunday will also focus on issues linked to security and stability, and will reaffirm the need to cooperate in defeating terrorism worldwide.

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir affirmed on Friday that the first foreign visit of Trump to the Kingdom and his participation in the first Arab-Islamic-US Summit indicates joint work to defuse tensions in the region and clarify the human values which include justice, equality and peace among peoples.

Trump made Saudi Arabia his initial stop Saturday on his first official trip overseas, before visiting Israel and the Vatican.

During his trip, the US President was accompanied by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, the president’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell, White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in addition to his daughter and Jared Kushner.

Ahead of arriving to Saudi Arabia, Trump said: “Our task is not to dictate to others how to live, but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East.”