President Donald Trump will visit Saudi Arabia as his first foreign trip since taking office, a sign of the Kingdom’s importance as an ally and trading partner to the United States.
The trip will also include visits to Israel and the Vatican, meaning that Trump will be visiting the spiritual centers of Islam, Judaism and Catholicism.
“My first foreign trip as president of the United States will be to Saudi Arabia, then Israel, and then to a place that my cardinals love very much, Rome,” Trump said in a Rose Garden announcement.
Aides to the President “described the decision to make Saudi Arabia the coveted first presidential stop as an effort to reset relations with the Muslim world,” the AFP reports.
Compared to other recent presidents, Trump has been a homebody so far. President Obama’s first foreign trip was to Canada, and came much earlier in his presidency in February. Saudi Arabia was the 10th country that President Obama visited, in June of 2009. President George W. Bush did not visit Saudi Arabia in his first term, but visited twice in 2008.