The Latest: Melania Trump decision on headscarf draws notice

AP News
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Posted: May 20, 2017 4:51 PM
The Latest: Melania Trump decision on headscarf draws notice

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on first lady Melania Trump on her stop with the president in Saudi Arabia (all times local):

11:37 p.m.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump is not following local custom about women covering their heads in Saudi Arabia. She and President Donald Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia Saturday on the opening leg of his first international tour since taking office.

But two years ago, then-citizen Trump criticized then-first lady Michelle Obama's decision to go bare-headed on a January 2015 visit with her husband. He tweeted at the time that the first lady's refusal to wear a head covering was an insult to the Saudis.

Under the kingdom's strict dress code for women, Saudi women and most female visitors are required to wear a loose, black robe known as an abaya, in public.

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1:35 p.m.

Melania Trump's decision not to wear a headscarf upon arrival in the Middle East is drawing attention on social media.

But her decision is consistent with custom for female foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also shunned head coverings during visits this year, showing how common it is for high-level female visitors to skip wearing a headscarf or an abaya, the loose-fitting black robe worn by Saudi women.

President Donald Trump had criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a head scarf during a January 2015 visit to Saudi Arabia with then-President Barack Obama.

Saudi Arabia is the first stop on Trump's first foreign trip as president.