Melania Trump decision on headscarf draws notice


Trump opened his first trip overseas since taking office, touching down Saturday in Saudi Arabia for a visit aimed at building stronger partnerships to combat terrorism in the region and moving past the controversies engulfing his young administration.

In a major initiative, the US-Arab-Islamic Summit of Riyadh would disassociate "terrorism" from any particular religion, culture, civilisation or region. He's scheduled to visit Israel, the Vatican, and Belgium before returning to Washington.

Dogged by controversy at home, President Donald Trump opened a nine-day foreign trip on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, looking to shift attention from a spiralling political firestorm over his firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey last week.

During their conversation earlier in the day, the king was overheard lamenting the Syrian war. A military brass band played, cannons boomed and seven Saudi jets flew over in V-formation, trailing red, white and blue smoke.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud take part in a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. "Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead", he wrote. In addition, Comey agreed to testify at an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee in the near future, the panel said.

Raytheon chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy said: "This strategic partnership is the next step in our over 50-year relationship in the kingdom and a strong indicator of our continued global growth". "We have enuf enemies", he tweeted, using a short-hand spelling for "enough". White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told reporters on Air Force One that Trump spent the flight meeting with staff, working on his upcoming speech to the Muslim world and getting a little sleep.

Trump in 2015 criticized then-first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a headscarf during a visit to Saudi Arabia, saying on Twitter that her hosts had been "insulted". Laura Bush generally went without covering her head, though she once briefly donned a head scarf she received as a gift.

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Women are also expected to wear long black abaya robes and cover their hair in public in Riyadh. At a joint press conference he also said Saudi Arabia will become "more capable of carrying their fair share of the burden".

But her decision is consistent with custom for female foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

It is the president's first foreign trip while in office, and he and his delegation are being closely scrutinized for any missteps. "This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people of all regions who seek to protect it".

At a later ceremony at the grand Saudi Royal Court, the king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the nation's highest civilian honor, around Trump's neck.

The arms deal includes the sale of cybersecurity technology, tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters and radar missile-defense systems.

Trump arrived in Riyadh besieged by the fallout from his firing of FBI Director James Comey and more revelations about the federal investigations into his election campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation. "That leads to Islamophobia, which is the other face of the extremism coin and it fuels terrorists' ideologies", Mohammed Al Issa, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League said.

There was at least one of the president's big-name backers who did not hide his feelings.