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Saudi King Says Trump Visit Will Strengthen Cooperation, Enhance Global Security

Saudi Arabia -- A giant billboard bearing portraits of US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman, is seen on a main road in Riyadh, May 19, 2017

Saudi Arabia's king says the ongoing visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to the kingdom will strengthen cooperation between the two allies and help enhance global security.

"Mr. President, your visit will strengthen our strategic cooperation, lead to global security and stability," King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud said on May 20 in a message on Twitter as Trump was in Riyadh on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

Multibillion-dollar deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia are expected to be signed during the trip.

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

Trump's eight-day tour will also include stops in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Brussels, the Vatican, and Italy.

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.

But the trip has been overshadowed by the deepening crisis surrounding the investigation into Trump's associates and their ties to Russian officials.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and the BBC