Melania Trump skips headscarf as she arrives in Saudi Arabia

A $110 billion deal in which Saudi Arabia will buy USA arms to help it counter Iran, with options for as much as $350 billion over 10 years, was the central achievement of Trump's first day in Riyadh, first stop on a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe.But the turmoil back home consumed the headlines and cast a long shadow over his first foreign trip as president.

Shortly after the arrival, Trump was presented with the country's highest national award, the Order of King Abdulaziz, in the royal Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. He declared Trump was being honoured for "his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world".

Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, the Vatican and Belgium has been billed by the White House as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions, while givingTrump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

Earlier this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also shunned head coverings, showing how common it is for high-level female visitors to skip wearing a headscarf or an abaya, the loose-fitting, black robe worn by Saudi women.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that an unidentified senior Trump adviser was being considered a "person of interest" in the investigation.

Despite those troubles, Trump was warmly received in Saudi Arabia in contrast to his predecessor. The kingdom's ruling family grew deeply frustrated with former President Barack Obama's detente with Iran and his restrained approach to the conflict in Syria.

Ahead of Trump's trip, the White House said the president expected tangible results from Saudi Arabia in countering Islamic extremism.

It was a more favorable welcome than had been granted past year to Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who was seen in the Arab kingdom as soft on Iran and hesitant on Syria. A five story image of Trump's face was projected on the exterior of the Ritz Carlton hotel where he'll stay, and large billboards of Trump and King Salman lined the highway from the airport.

Mrs. Trump wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt and did not cover her head, consistent with the custom for foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

"Many people are saying it was wonderful that Michelle Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted".

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus sought to play down the reports of disarray.

The visit kicks off an ambitious worldwide debut for Trump.

For a president who campaigned on an "America First" platform, the trip is a crucial moment for United States allies to size up his commitment to decades-long partnerships while trying to move behind his previous controversial statements.

The Washington-based Pakistani media, however, have learned that the Saudis are backing Pakistan's request for a brief Sharif-Trump meeting before the U.S. president flies out to Israel and then to Europe for more talks with America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. The military package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications, and cybersecurity technology.

Trump dodged one potential land mine when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted on war crime and genocide charges, announced that he would not attend the summit for personal reasons. The scheduling choice is designed in part to show respect to the region after months of harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.

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