US President Donald Trump has returned to the White House after his first international trip, during which he visited Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, the Vatican and Belgium over a period of nine days.

The Air Force One presidential aircraft landed at the Andrew Air Force Base on the outskirts of the capital at 8.54 p.m. on Saturday, Efe news reported.

The President and First Lady Melania were then taken by helicopter to the White House, where they arrived at 9.22 p.m.

Trump’s overseas trip began on May 19 when he departed from Washington, D.C., for Riyadh, where he signed multimillion-dollar agreements on defence with Saudi Arabia and gave a speech on Islam and the fight against terrorism.

He also visited Israel and the West Bank in the Middle East, where he held meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

In Europe, Trump made a stop at the Vatican, where he was received by Pope Francis, travelled on to Brussels to participate in a NATO leaders summit, and then headed to the Sicilian city of Taormina for the G7 meeting.

On the flight back, a senior White House official told reporters that Trump’s first overseas trip as President was “historic” and “unprecedented”, according to The Hill magazine.

The official, who requested anonymity, added that the trip had “left no one with any doubt about who America’s friends are”.

Trump has tried to ban the entry of refugees and immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries, as he links them with an increased terrorist threat.

However, the US courts have blocked this veto and it has not been allowed to come into effect.

Now that he has returned to the White House, Trump will have to deal with the growing concern over possible links between his inner circle, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Russia, which has generated scores of headlines in the country while he was abroad.

First Published | 28 May 2017 1:06 PM
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