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Watch: Trump participates in traditional sword dance at Saudi Palace

India TV News Desk Riyadh 21 May 2017, 11:14:57 AM IST
India TV News Desk

US President Donald Trump, who is basking in a royal welcome in Saudi Arabia, on Saturday briefly joined King Salman in a traditional male-only sword dance before a state dinner in his honour.

Swaying side to side, the president stood shoulder to shoulder with Saudis for the traditional dance, which includes drumming and singing.

The traditional men's sword dance is known as the 'ardah'. 

The performance combines dance, drumming and chanting poetry, and it signifies the start of notable occasions like religious holidays or weddings.

The dance took place outside the King Abdulaziz Historical Center where First Lady Melania Trump, his son-in law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka joined Trump to dine with the Saudi king and other senior Saudi royals.

The menu included an array of dishes, including steak and ketchup alongside the lamb and hefty portions of rice.

Trump is enjoying a royal welcome in Saudi Arabia, a far cry from the contentious atmosphere he left behind in Washington.

He was greeted by the Saudi king and a long red carpet upon arrival to the capital, Riyadh, Saturday morning for his first overseas visit in office.

The king later presented him with the kingdom's highest civilian honour, a gold medal, during a ceremony at the grand Saudi Royal Court.

Trump rewarded his Saudi hosts with a $110 billion arms package aimed at bolstering Saudi security and a slew of business agreements.

Trump spent most of his first day abroad shuttling between opulent palace ballrooms with the king. The two were overheard discussing natural resources and arms, and Salman bemoaned the destruction caused by Syria's civil war.

On Sunday, Trump will participate in a meeting with member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as a summit with leaders and representatives from around 50 Middle Eastern and Islamic countries.

Parallel to these meetings, a forum for the fight against terror and extremism is to be held, sponsored by the Saudi-led anti-terror military coalition.

He will fly to Israel later on Sunday.

Trump is on a five-stop swing that will take him to the Middle East and Europe.

(With AP inputs)