Trump hosts first iftar dinner at White House

The US president was joined by Saudi Ambassador Prince Khalid Ben Salman and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar
US President Donald Trump (L) greets The Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz during an Iftar dinner in the State Dining Room at the White House June 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.
By AFP
Thu 07 Jun 2018 09:47 AM

Donald Trump hosted his first iftar dinner as president on Wednesday, marking the traditional Ramadan fast-breaking meal with Muslim invitees at the White House.

The iftar was the first of its kind to be held by Trump, with the president having declined to hold one in his first year in office.

Hundreds of millions of devout Muslims observe the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which is slated to end on June 14 this year.

From sunrise onwards, they abstain from food and drink, breaking their fast at sunset.

There were more than 50 guests. At the head table, Trump sat with Saudi Ambassador Prince Khalid Ben Salman and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar.

Ambassadors were invited from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria and Libya.

"To each of you and to the Muslims around the world: Ramadan Mubarak," Trump said.

"Tonight, we give thanks for the renewed bonds of friendship and cooperation we have forged with our valued partners from all across the Middle East," he said.

Campaigners and activists around America, however, have criticised the move in light of several measures by Trump that were perceived to be anti-Muslim, such as the Muslim ban.

Iftar dinners have been a regular feature on the White House calendar, though several American Muslim groups said they would not participate in Wednesday's iftar.

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Last Updated: Thu 07 Jun 2018 09:47 AM GST

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