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Trump Signs Saudi Defense, Economic Deals (Video)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman signed a series of agreements cementing their countries’ military and economic partnerships.

The two leaders signed a joint vision agreement Saturday at the Saudi Royal Court and sealed it with a handshake.

The agreements also include a military sales deal of about $110 billion, effective immediately, plus another $350 billion over the next 10 years.

The two countries also announced a defense cooperation agreement and private sector agreements Saturday that are intended to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. defense industry.

Trump has been tending to official business on his first day overseas as president.

4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump will attend a signing ceremony with Saudi Arabia’s leadership to cement a number of defense and business agreements.

The White House says the agreements include military sales of about $100 billion, effective immediately, plus another $350 billion over the next 10 years.

The package of defense equipment and services are aimed to boost security in the Arab Gulf region in the face of Iranian aggression.

It is also meant to bolster the kingdom’s ability to contribute to counterterrorism operations across the region, “reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations.”

The two countries will also sign a defense cooperation agreement and private sector agreements Saturday which are intended to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. defense industry.

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2:24 p.m.

President Donald Trump is receiving the nation’s highest civilian honor from Saudi King Salman.

The king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud around Trump’s neck at a ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh.

The host of the event declared that Trump was being honored for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world.”

The honor has also been bestowed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump and several senior White House aides who were interspersed with Saudi officials throughout a grand ballroom.

1:53 p.m.

President Donald Trump is arriving for his official welcome to Saudi Arabia.

More than a dozen horses flanked the presidential limousine Saturday as Trump was slowly driven to the Royal Court in Riyadh.

Trumpets played and soldiers stood at attention as the president walked in. As he arrived, Trump told the king the spectacle was “very impressive.”

Trump, who landed from Washington hours earlier, was slated to attend a welcoming ceremony and a lunch with Saudi King Salman.

The two men were then expected to have a bilateral meeting.

Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

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1:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting for the first time while abroad on his first foreign trip.

Trump’s account is delivering a diplomatic message. It says that it’s “Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia” and says Trump is “Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead.”

The tweet was accompanied by several photos of the president’s arrival in the Middle East.

It’s his first stop on a busy, nine-day trip.

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12:20 p.m.

Melania Trump’s decision not to wear a headscarf upon arrival in the Middle East is drawing attention on social media.

The first lady wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt but did not cover her head, consistent with custom for female foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump had criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a head scarf during a January 2015 visit to the nation with then-President Barack Obama.

Trump said in a 2015 tweet that, while many people applauded Mrs. Obama’s decision, the people of Saudi Arabia “were insulted.”

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11:04 a.m.

President Donald Trump is preparing for a busy day of meetings in Saudi Arabia.

The president, first lady Melania Trump and top White House aides touched down Saturday morning in Riyadh. It’s the first stop of a nine-day, multi-country tour.

The president began his visit with a coffee ceremony with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

He’ll participate later in an arrival ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court and a luncheon banquet, followed by a bilateral meeting with the king, a signing ceremony and a meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince.

Saturday night, he’ll attend a royal banquet at Murabba Palace followed by a tour of the National Museum.

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