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Trump Starts First Presidential Trip Abroad In Saudi Arabia


RIYADH -- Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcome U.S. President Donald Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh

U.S. President Donald Trump has landed in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, was greeted by King Salman at King Khalid International Airport on May 20.

He will hold talks with leaders in the Sunni-ruled kingdom during the day, before having a banquet dinner with members of the royal family at the Murabba Palace.

On May 21, the U.S. president will deliver a speech at a regional summit in Riyadh focused largely on combating extremist groups.

Saudi officials have called the visit "historic," saying it will conclude political and commercial agreements and will help bolster the joint fight against Islamist militants.

Bilateral relations have been strained by former President Barack Obama's rapprochement with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

After Saudi Arabia, Trump is scheduled to travel to Israel, Italy, the Vatican, and Brussels.

The Trump administration has been hoping that the visits would help him reinforce close U.S. ties with key allies, particularly in the Middle East.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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