Saudi Arabia prepares for Trump’s first overseas trip

World Today

Saudi Arabia's King Salman FILE – In this Monday, March 13, 2017 file photo, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attends a banquet hosted by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is touting an upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and heads of state from across Muslim-majority nations as the start of a new relationship that will strengthen global security. Trump is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia this weekend for his first overseas trip as president. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool Photo via AP)

Amid the controversies swirling in Washington, Donald Trump is in flight, on his first overseas trip as President. His first stop: Saudi Arabia. What’s on the agenda there?

CGTN’s Adel El Mahrouky reports from Riyadh.
Follow Adel ELMahrouky on Twitter @AdelMahrouky

Saudi Arabia prepares for Trump's first overseas trip

Saudi Arabia prepares for Trump's first overseas trip

Amid the controversies swirling in Washington, Donald Trump is in flight, on his first overseas trip as President. His first stop: Saudi Arabia. What’s on the agenda there? CGTN’s Adel El Mahrouky reports from Riyadh.
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Donald Trump is receiving a red carpet welcome in Saudi Arabia. The signs of his warm reception extend beyond where the meetings are taking place.

Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom, has been covered with flags and posters showing solidarity between Saudi Arabia and the United States. King Salman bin Abdulaziz is making no secret he wants to show the significance of this visit to the entire world.

“We would like to have one single message, that we are all united against extremism and terrorism,” says Awwad Al Awwad, Saudi Minister of Cultuer and Information. “We have united stance, united efforts and united messages that Islam is all about peace and prosperity.”

Terrorism and fighting radical Islamic ideologies are a priority for several regional leaders. The topic may interest Trump, but for the Gulf leaders, they hope it will show Trump’s visit is a message to Iran.

“Saudi Arabia wants to emphasize that with this visit, the U.S. is keen to limit the role of Iran in the region. It’s a desire for the both countries now,” says political analyst Fahad Al Shafi.

Saudi Arabia wants to become a hub for manufacturing arms in the region. It wants to do so with U.S. expertise and assistance. And with Saudi Arabia’s engagement in Yemen taking longer than expected arms deals will be a focus of the discussions with Trump and the U.S. delegation.

“I think that business is what will drive the meetings to success. There were a total of $20 billion in arms deals Gulf countries signed with Obama, but they were never implemented. Trump will be asked to meet those deals,” says Shafi.

By gathering leaders of the Gulf, Arab and Islamic nations to Riyadh to meet with President Trump, the Kingdom is displaying itself as a power leader in the Muslim world. All of that makes Trump’s choice to begin his trip here, a priceless event for the Saudis.


Paolo Von Schirach on what to expect for Trump’s first overseas trip

For more on what’s to come for Trump’s first overseas trip, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talked with Paolo Von Schirach. He’s President of the Global Policy Institute, a research group based here in Washington.