Trump wins warm welcome in Riyadh

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President Donald Trump was received like visiting royalty here Saturday, as his debut on the world stage competed for attention at home with ongoing news of the scandal encircling his presidency.

In a series of official arrival ceremonies — at the airport and the Royal Court palace — Trump, his wife Melania, and an entourage including virtually his entire senior White House staff and much of his Cabinet, were serenaded by military bands, treated to a fly-past of Saudi jets, feted in opulent palaces and given the undivided attention of King Salman, the ruler of Saudi Arabia.

The only US president to make Saudi Arabia his first foreign visit, Trump was presented with the highest honour for a foreign dignitary, the collar of Abdul Aziz Al Saud, named for the for the kingdom’s founder, which King Salman hung on a thick gold chain around Trump’s neck. The welcome reflected a kingdom eager to rekindle its relationship with the United States, and to use the visit to declare and solidify its own leadership role in the Muslim world.

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