President Donald Trump just wrapped up his first trip abroad since taking office.
Landing first in Saudi Arabia to address fighting terrorism, Trump then travelled to Israel to push for peace with the Palestinians, to Vatican City to meet with the Pope, to Brussels to meet with NATO allies, and ended in Italy to attend a trade summit with other G7 leaders.
Though Saudi Arabia has been a close American ally for decades, it marked the first time the oil-rich kingdom has been chosen for an inaugural presidential visit.
In the recent past, presidents have typically selected countries close by, like Canada and Mexico, since foreign trips can be such a high-stakes environment for a new leader. Presidential trips abroad take weeks, and sometimes months, of planning to make sure the many diplomatic niceties are observed.
Where a president goes during his first year in office can depend on what is going on in the world, and the various foreign policy issues they have to address. They can also serve as a contrast to past administrations.
President Barack Obama chose Canada for his first visit in 2009, after President George W. Bush called Mexico the US’s most important bilateral trading partner when he visited the country for his first trip in 2001.
In his first year, Obama travelled to 21 countries, jetting from Europe to the Middle East, then Asia, even finding time for a visit to Ghana.
Bush did a European tour before ending his first year with a visit to China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, his first trip abroad following the September 11 terror attacks.
During his first year in office in 1993, President Bill Clinton only travelled to three countries. In his first trip to Canada, however, Clinton met with Russian President Boris Yeltsin to present a $US1 billion aid package in order to promote democratic reform in the country after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Here’s where Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton travelled in their first year as president:
More from Rebecca Harrington:
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- Here’s the full transcript of Trump’s speech to Middle East leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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