Tiger fur-lined robes… what do Saudi gifts to Trump mean?

Source: BBC News

  • 14 September 2017
President Donald Trump receives the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal from Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

When Winston Churchill went to see King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud in February 1945, he soon realised that the £100 ($134) worth of perfume he brought was no match for the robe, jewelled sword, dagger and diamond rings he received in return.

Despite the fiscal squeeze of World War Two, the British prime minister returned home and promptly ordered one of the first Rolls-Royce cars produced after the war to be sent to the king seven months later.

World leaders today may not hand out planes or luxury cars, but a recent State Department document detailing 83 items US President Donald Trump received during his May visit to Saudi Arabia underscores the long-held practice of extravagant gift-giving in the Gulf kingdom.

What did Trump receive?

During his first foreign visit as president, Mr Trump attended an Arab Islamic Summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where King Salman bestowed to him a stockpile of gifts including multiple swords, daggers, leather ammo holders and holsters, beaded and gold-embroidered dresses, dozens of Shemagh head scarves and other traditional Arab garments, leather sandals, perfumes and artwork.

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