RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- President Donald Trump basked in Saudi Arabia's lavish royal welcome Saturday as he left behind, at least temporarily, the snowballing controversies dogging him in Washington. Trump rewarded his hosts with a $110 billion arms package aimed at bolstering Saudi security and a slew of business agreements.
The visit kicks off an ambitious international debut for Trump. After two days of meetings here, Trump will travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and meet with allies at a NATO summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 powerful nations in Sicily.
Trump waved from the doorway after Air Force One touched down and before descending the staircase with first lady Melania Trump. The 81-year-old King Salman, who used a cane for support, was brought to the steps of the plane in a golf cart. The leaders exchanged pleasantries and Trump said it was "a great honor" to be there.
Several jets then flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail.
Soon after, Trump tweeted for the first time on international soil as president. "Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead."
"That was a tremendous day, tremendous investments in the United States," Trump said during a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef...
As Trump and the 81-year-old king, who was aided by a cane, walked along the red carpet, military jets flew swept the sky, leaving a red, white and blue trail.
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 medal, given to Trump for his efforts to strengthen ties in the region, has also been bestowed on Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.
Ignoring President Donald Trump's past admonition, U.S. first lady Melania Trump did not cover her head Saturday when they arrived in Saudi Arabia on the opening leg of his first international tour since taking office...
Saudi FM and Tillerson say little as they leave news conf only that POTUS speech Sunday will be "very positive." pic.twitter.com/mQWuptzyGX— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 20, 2017
He later traveled to the King Abdul Aziz historical center in Riyadh for a tour and welcome ceremony and reception at the Murabba Palace.
Tillerson dances at dinner for POTUS and King Salman in Saudi Arabia pic.twitter.com/vfhqbvOAGb— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 20, 2017