Politics

In pictures: Donald Trump’s maiden trip abroad as US president

Share
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Marine One to fly to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, May 19, 2017.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images

After hitting the 100-day presidential milestone in April, Donald Trump set off for his first trip abroad as U.S. president in May with pit stops spanning from the Middle East's Saudi Arabia and Israel, to Europe's Belgium and Italy.

The trip was seen as an opportunity for the president to reaffirm the country's leadership role in the world, along with conveying a message of solidarity to allies and to build upon vital relationships – highlighted at events including the G-7 summit.

As President Trump returns to U.S. soil, CNBC takes a look at some of the most memorable moments during his trip overseas.

By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, with contribution from Reuters.

First stop: Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump is welcomed by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during their arrival at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2017.
Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council/Handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

On May 20, Donald Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia - the first destination on his tour overseas. The trip saw the U.S. president meet with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, along with the Egyptian President.

Trump worked on strengthening the relationship the U.S. has with the Middle East during his time in Saudi Arabia, along with promoting prosperity, peace and security in the region. Consequently, fighting terrorism was a key topic amongst the leaders during Trump's visit.

"If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered," Trump said in an address at the Arab Islamic American Summit.

He added that it was not a battle between different faiths or civilizations, but between "good and evil."

Signing agreements and sword-dancing

Donald Trump, Melania Trump, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put their hands on an illuminated globe during the inauguration ceremony of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh.
Bandar Algaloud /Saudi Royal Council/Handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In Saudi Arabia, Trump and King Salman signed a weapons deal worth close to $110 billion – an agreement which would support the long-term security of the Gulf region in the face of certain threats, the White House stated.

However, not all the events were about business. The president and some of his colleagues took part in a ceremonial sword dance before a banquet in Saudi Arabia, on May 20.

Meanwhile, social media was buzzing after images emerged of Trump placing his hands on a glowing orb at the inauguration ceremony of a new center for combating extremist ideology – instigating comparisons from fantasy epics to science fiction.

Touching down in Israel to discuss peace

US President Donald Trump during an official welcoming ceremony on his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport on May, 22 2017 near Tel Aviv, Israel.
Gili Yaari | NurPhoto | Getty Images

On the second leg of his trip, Trump headed to Israel to meet with leaders from Israel and Palestine, to try to reinvigorate the stalled peace process between the two nations.

On arriving in Israel, Trump told a crowd that there was a "rare opportunity" now to bring security, peace and stability to the Middle East and its people. He went onto express his desire to reaffirm the "unbreakable bond" between Israel and the U.S.

A first for the US presidency

US President Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City
RONEN ZVULUN | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. leader visited the Israel Museum during his visit where he delivered remarks, and made an appearance at Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center in Jerusalem, where the president laid a wreath with the First Lady.

Israel also marked a milestone for Trump and the U.S.: the first time a sitting U.S. president had visited the Western Wall – a place in Jerusalem where Jews can pray, before they can place a note among the wall's historic stones.

Peace and combating enemies up for discussion in Bethlehem

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks following a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at the Presidential Palace in Bethlehem on May 23, 2017.
MANDEL NGAN | AFP | Getty Images

Continuing with his desire to revive peace talks between Israel and Palestine, Trump met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, where peace in the Middle East continued to be discussed.

"I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal", Trump said in Bethlehem, adding that President Abbas had assured him that Palestine was ready to work toward this goal of peace.

However, sentiment in Bethlehem was dampened following the news that in the British city of Manchester. In Bethlehem, Trump addressed the suicide bombing, telling an audience that "terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever," adding that "this wicked ideology" must be eradicated.

A visit to the Vatican

Pope Francis (L) speaks with US President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24, 2017.
ALESSANDRA TARANTINO | AFP | Getty Images

For the second half of his overseas visit, Trump headed to Europe where he was greeted by Pope Francis at the Vatican. During the discussion, the two leaders commented on topics such as promoting peace, and the relationship the U.S. had with the Holy See.

The leaders went on to exchange gifts with one another. President Trump gave the Pope a few books by Martin Luther King Jr., while Pope Francis gave Trump a few presents including a selection of his writings. The U.S. incumbent also met with Italy's prime minister and president.

Leaders come together in Belgium

European Council President Donald Tusk (L) speaks to US President Donald Trump (R) as he welcomes him at EU headquarters.
EMMANUEL DUNAND | AFP | Getty Images

When touching down in Brussels, the U.S. president met with Belgian members of royalty as well as political figures, where he talked about his hopes to maintain a strong relationship with his European counterparts, despite comments he'd made in the .

When visiting leading figures from Europe, there were discussions that the U.S. and Europe met eye-to-eye on, like fighting the so-called Islamic State, while other issues revealed divided opinion including Russia and climate change.

Tensions rise in Brussels

People carry effigies of U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel during a demonstration against the U.S. president in Brussels, Belgium on May 24, 2017.
Eric Feferberg | AFP | Getty Images

However, all was not well in Brussels. As frequently seen during Trump's first 100 days in office, thousands marched in the Belgian city, protesting the U.S. leader's visit to the city.

During the demonstration, protesters carried flags and placards saying phrases like "Europe united against Trump" and "Stop Trump, save the planet".

NATO Leaders meeting

US President Donald Trump listens to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's speech during the unveiling ceremony of the Berlin Wall monument, during the NATO summit
EMMANUEL DUNAND | AFP | Getty Images

When meeting with fellow members at the NATO Leaders meeting in Brussels, the president called upon organization allies to spend more on defense to battle terrorism threats.

"Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all NATO countries combined. If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense," Trump said.

Following the Manchester bombing earlier that week, Trump reiterated his stance on combating terror threats with the other members of NATO, saying the U.S. would never stop fighting terrorism.

Unity and divided opinion at G-7 Summit

G7 leaders attend a working lunch during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily
Eliot Blondet | AFP | Getty Images

On the final leg of his maiden trip overseas, the U.S. president headed to the Sicilian town of Taormina to attend the latest G-7 summit, where he was joined by other G-7 leaders.

Topics from Africa's growth to trade and empowering women worldwide were discussed during the two-day summit. At the end, the political figures delivered a statement on combating terrorism in light of the Manchester attack, as well as jointly releasing a communiqué saying they'd work hard to keep their "markets open and to fight protectionism."

Meanwhile all G-7 countries except the U.S. – which was "in the process" of reviewing its Climate Change policies – reiterated their desire to uphold the Paris Agreement. Trump took to Twitter after the gathering, to say a decision would be made in the coming week.