Trump The Great – No Kowtow To King Salman, Rewarded With $350 Billion Deals

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May 21 2017
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First Lady Melania Trump descended from Air Force One in Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning, without wearing a headscarf. But despite her beauty, she wasn’t the superstar of the day. The celebrity of the day was her husband – President Donald Trump. Before the Air Force One touched down in Riyadh at about 10 a.m. local time, naughty betting was already in full swing.


The betting was whether 81-year-old King Salman who needs a walking stick would brave the sweltering heat to walk out onto the runway to greet the notorious U.S. president whose track record on Islamophobia is legendary. When Trump and Melania finally descended the stairs to a wide red carpet, King Salman was already there – waiting patiently – extending his hand toward the U.S. President.

President Donald Trump Meets King Salman - Handshake

King Salman Greets President Trump at Runway Tarmac

It was a totally different scenario last year. During then-President Barack Obama’s final trip to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, he was not greeted by King Salman at the airport – instead by the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud. To add insult into injury, the event was not broadcast live on Saudi TV, as is routine with visiting heads of state.


When President Trump greets King Salman, he stood up straight as the kingdom’s king appeared to bow slightly. In contrast, Obama was captured on cameras bowing to King Abdullah, contorting nearly to a 90-degree angle in what many slammed as Obama’s selling out to Muslims, with others called it a moment of American weakness in the eyes of the Arab world.

U.S. President Barack Obama Bowing To Saudi King Abdullah

U.S. President Donald Trump Refuses Bowing To King Salman

The U.S. President knew he was there as a celebrity so there wasn’t a need to kowtow to the Saudi’s king, not that he would even if he had been advised to. From the tarmac, King Salman walked Trump and Melania back to the terminal on a red carpet flanked by Saudi military. They then moved to the Royal Court in Riyadh where Trump was decorated with the gold King Abdulaziz medal.


But what had Trump done to deserve the medal, the kingdom’s highest civilian honour, except barrages of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric? Amusingly, Saudi Arabia insisted that Trump was being honoured for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world,” whatever that means (*grin*).

U.S. President Donald Trump Received Gold King Abdulaziz Medal

Even before King Salman placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud around President Trump’s neck, a dozen horses flanked the presidential limousine as Trump was slowly driven to the Royal Court in Riyadh, one of many presentations to keep Trump happy and entertained. The U.S. president was already impressed with billboards featuring the image of him and the king along the highways of Riyadh.


However, Trump was having minor difficulty as he struggled not to look bowing to the Saudi king as the gold medallion was being placed around his neck. The leader of the free world must not bend over to foreigners, especially from a Muslim nation that had slapped the country with an embargo, leading to the infamous 1973 Oil Crisis.

U.S. President Donald Trump Receives Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud - No Bowing, Just Half-Curtsey

Therefore, Trump deftly opts instead for an awkward “half-curtsey”, unlike Obama’s bending at the waist toward the Saudi King Abdullah. Before a state dinner, President Donald Trump briefly joined Saudi King Salman in a traditional male-only sword dance, which includes drumming and singing, and the U.S. president was seen smiling and swaying side to side.


The goodies didn’t stop there. Trump was rewarded with agreements which include a military sales deal of about US$110 billion – effective immediately – plus another US$350 billion over the next 10 years. The military package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defence systems, radar and communications, and cyber-security technology.

Easy Money – US$350 Billion Deal Between U.S. and Saudi Arabia

The Public Investment Fund, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, agreed to commit US$20 billion to an infrastructure investment with Blackstone Group LP.  Saudi Aramco, meanwhile, said it signed 16 accords with 11 companies valued at about US$50 billion, including a US$15 billion deal with General Electric Co.


Among American corporations who have benefited from Trump’s trip to Saudi include Honeywell International Inc., Nabors Industries Ltd., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. Raytheon Co. will cooperate with Saudi Arabia Military Industries to establish Raytheon Arabia in Riyadh on defence-related projects and technology development.

U.S. President Donald Trump Favourite Meal - Steak with a side of Ketchup

But medals, music, dance, red-carpet and business deals were not the only thing that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has prepared for Donald Trump. The kingdom was so serious about pampering and accommodating the TV-reality star that caterers have ensured that his favourite meal – steak with a side of ketchup – will be offered alongside the traditional local cuisine.


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