President Trump will be traveling to several countries during his first trip abroad as commander in chief. Here's a quick look at where he's going and the highlights of the trip:
This post will update frequently.
May 20-21: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- In his speech to leaders of Muslim-majority nations Sunday, Trump urged nations to “drive out” terrorists and called the fight against terrorism “a battle between good and evil.” He summoned every Muslim country in the region to share the burden of eradicating terrorism but stressed that Middle East nations cannot wait for the United States to intervene.
- Trump called Iran “the spearhead of global terrorism” and criticized the country for its destabilizing role in Syria. “It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this very room,” he said.
- Trump described terrorists as “barbaric criminals” seeking to disrupt the lives of “decent people” and “innocent Muslims” in the name of religion. “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death,” he said.
- Trump's trip began Saturday in Saudi Arabia, where he was received like royalty. Trump was welcomed by King Salman at the airport surrounded by soldiers on horseback, who flanked his limousine as it drove across the tarmac.
- Many were waiting to see whether first lady Melania Trump would wear a headscarf. In conservative Saudi Arabia, women are required to cover themselves. Foreigners, however, are not bound by this rule. Trump criticized Michelle Obama in 2015 for appearing without a headscarf, tweeting that the Saudis felt “insulted.” Nevertheless, Melania Trump and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump chose to forgo the headscarf, and both wore full-length outfits.
- Later in the day, Trump signed economic and military agreements, including a military sales deal worth $110 billion, and was presented with a gold medal.
May 22-23: Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, Israel
- Wearing a yarmulke, Trump visited the Western Wall without Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after a political kerfuffle with the details. Trump became the first U.S. president to visit the site, considered one of the holiest in Judaism. Trump later said he was “deeply moved” by the visit.
- In his news conference with Netanyahu, Trump touted the “unbreakable bond” between Israel and the United States, and remarked that the countries' security partnership is “stronger than ever.” He praised Netanyahu for what he described as the Israeli leader's work in striving to achieve a peace agreement.
- Trump criticized Iran, saying its leaders “routinely call for Israel’s destruction.”
- Speaking to reporters on the first day of his visit, Trump said he never told Russian officials that sensitive information that he had shared with them in the Oval Office some days ago came from Israel. “I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” Trump said. “Never mentioned during that conversation.” Trump has not been accused of sharing the source of the information but rather of sharing highly classified information.
- When he first arrived, Trump was greeted warmly by Netanyahu. One Israeli lawmaker snuck in a selfie with Trump while Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, told the first lady that despite the media's opinion, the people of Israel “love us.”
May 23: Bethlehem, West Bank
- Trump began his news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by condemning the Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester, denouncing terrorists as “evil losers.” He again criticized Iran for what he called its support of terrorism.
- Trump said that he was committed a peace deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis and that he will do everything he can to help both sides “achieve that goal.” Trump said both sides have promised to work toward peace.
- He called the summit in Saudi Arabia an “epic gathering,” describing Salman as a “very wise, wise man.”
May 24: Vatican City
What Trump plans to do: Meet Pope Francis and tour St. Peter's Basilica. In Rome, he will also meet Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
Things to watch for: How Trump will greet Francis. The two will finally get a chance to meet for the first time after their slight spat over border walls last year. The pope said anyone who builds a wall is “not Christian.” Trump, a presidential candidate at the time, shot back: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.” Francis has said that he will not judge Trump before meeting him.
May 24-25: Brussels
What Trump plans to do: Meet with NATO heads of state and the presidents of the European Union and the European Council. Trump will participate in a NATO meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has voiced support for the alliance numerous times.
Things to watch for: What Trump says about NATO, considering that he has publicly flip-flopped on his position. Trump had called the alliance “obsolete,” then surprisingly took back that criticism in April after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Another topic that probably will come up is funding. During his last trip to Brussels, Mattis had demanded that allies ramp up their defense spending or risk altering their relationship with the United States.
May 26-27: Taormina, Italy
What Trump plans to do: Attend the Group of Seven summit.
Things to watch for: The 43rd annual summit — which involves the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan — will be a time for countries to address their own agendas. According to the White House, Trump plans on touching on the U.S. economy and increased security cooperation. The summit will be an interesting time to see all of the newly elected world leaders assembled in one place, including French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
May 27: Trump returns to the United States