Saudi to sign trade, political deals with US

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The goings on of the Trump family in general are also closely followed in magazines and social media across the Middle East.

McMaster said Trump will also take part "in the inauguration of a new center meant to fight radicalism and promote moderation".

It goes without saying that it's a fraught agenda for any leader, but especially one with Mr Trump's signature bluntness on the issue of radical Islamic terrorism and penchant for going off script. So far no action has been taken against them.

America's first lady has not been "ordered" to dress conservatively in Saudi Arabia, the country chosen by her husband as his first official overseas destination. And there are likely to be more developments back in Washington even as he's overseas.

Saudi Arabia is said to have been chosen as the first stop because it's the birthplace of Islam and the custodian of the two Holy Mosques.

Catchphrases aside, many questions remain unanswered.

Ahead of Donald Trump's arrival in Saudi Arabia on Friday - making the Islamic Kingdom the first foreign country to receive an official visit from the new US President - Saudi newspaper columnists heralded the prospect of improved relations with the US.

USA officials familiar with the package said it would include Abrams tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar, and communications and cyber security technology. Trump would be looking to sign "major deals" with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, he added.

"I'll speak with Muslim leaders and challenge them to fight hatred and extremism, and embrace a peaceful future for their faith", Trump promised ahead of the trip.

"President Omar al-Bashir has apologised to King Salman of Saudi Arabia for being unable to attend the Riyadh summit", a statement from his office carried by the official SUNA news agency said.

As allegations of obstruction of justice and giving secrets to Russian Federation consumed Trump's administration, aides sought to focus the president's fleeting attention on the vital foreign policy issues he will confront and the nuts-and-bolts difficulty of taking the White House around the globe. It was "a moment of unparalleled cooperation between two great nations", Bush said.

Trump will meet members of the North Atlantic alliance in Brussels, before heading on to a G7 summit in Taormina, a picturesque Sicilian town overlooking the Mediterranean.

Trump has yet to personally reassert the United States commitment to Article 5, NATO's mutual defense clause.

And with this President the trip itself could throw up its own surprises. The president conferred with the defense secretary about the Middle East and discussed his Saudi Arabia meetings with his secretary of state.

The White House isn't releasing a comprehensive itinerary for Mrs. Trump, citing security concerns.

He reckons the best the Trump administration can hope for is that the trip passes without incident.

"It did not work", said Riedel. They felt he was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and was tilting toward Shia-dominated Iran, Riyadh's regional rival.

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