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Melania Trump can ditch Saudi Arabia's traditional headscarf while visiting, says foreign minister


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- Christina Gregg | AOL.com
First lady Melania Trump will join President Donald Trump as he arrives in Saudi Arabia this weekend, a country in which women are expected to dress in conservative fashion.

The president and first lady's visit to the Middle Eastern country marks the first leg of Trump's week-long foreign trip that will also include stops in Rome, Israel, Brussels and Sicily. In lead up to the presidential couple's Friday departure, all eyes were on style icon Melania Trump as she plans to immerse herself in a culture that prides itself on conservative attire standards that starkly contrast Melania's own fashion choices.

According to Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, though, the first lady will not have to tone down her usual fashion choices.

"We welcome any style in clothing," Al-Jubeir told media on Thursday, according to RIA Novosti.

RELATED: Melania Trump's Outfits as FLOTUS

As the Economist explains, Saudi Arabia is known for its varied versions of cloaks for women (jijab, niqab, burqa) that derive from the nation's foundational observance of sharia as state law.

"While all versions of Islam suggest a woman should dress modestly, often covering her hair and body, Saudi Arabia is one of the only Muslim-majority countries that legally imposes a dress code (Iran is another)," The Economist states. "Women, foreign and local, must wear an abaya (a few get away with long coats) in public places. Muslim—often equated with Saudi—women are said to have to wear a headscarf; foreigners needn't."

Melania Trump is not the first figure to face this style decision when traveling overseas, but rather joins a lineage of world leaders and presidential first ladies making their own call on whether to take part in the traditional Saudi Arabian style practice while visiting.

From British Prime Minister Theresa May to German chancellor Angela Merkel, there is a history of woman leaders going "hijab-free" as a way of making a statement during their foreign visit. Former first lady Michelle Obama sparked controversy in 2015 when she opted to not wear a headscarf during a ceremony honoring Saudi Arabian King Abdullah's death. Obama had previously donned a hijab in 2010, though, when she visited Jakarta's Istiqlal Mosque.

White House assistant Ivanka Trump and presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner will also be present on the trip to Saudi Arabia, after they received a rabbi's blessing to break the practice of observing Shabbat that is part of their Orthodox Judaism practice. The Saudi Arabian foreign minister's comments in regard to Melania Trump's attire while visiting likely also apply to the president's eldest daughter.

RELATED: Everything Melania Trump has Instagrammed in her first 100 days as first lady

Everything Melania Trump has Instagrammed in her first 100 days as first lady

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    ‪Proud to share part of my family history with Mrs. Abe at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea where @POTUS & I were married, where we celebrate and we pray‬
  • flotus
    ‪We are responsible for empowering our next generation with values #powerofeverychild #Powerofthefirstlady‬
  • flotus
    Thank you Mrs. Netanyahu for your dedication and friendship. #PowerOfTheFirstLady
  • flotus
    Proud of supporting signing #closingthegendergap in #STEM #PowerOfTheFirstLady
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    The President and I were honored to hosts members of the U.S. Senate and their spouses and guests at the White House this evening. The United States Army Chorus and The United States Marine Chamber Orchestra performed for our guests and we were able to spend time getting to know one another as we all work to improve the lives of Americans.
  • flotus
    I was honored to share the stage with the amazing recipients of the IWOC awards today! Thank you for your courage & determination! #WomenOfCourage
  • flotus
    .POTUS & I were thrilled to stop by the Women's Empowerment Panel held at the @WhiteHouse today!
  • flotus
    .POTUS & FLOTUS #fbf #MAGA 🇺🇸
  • flotus
    Thank you students & teachers at @ExcelAcademyPCS today! Had so much fun speaking w the girls in science class. Thank you for having me.
  • flotus
    Potus and I hosted our Heroes from the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride in the @WhiteHouse today. 🇺🇸
  • flotus
    Wonderful visit from the President of the People's Republic of #China, Xi Jinping & Madame Peng Liyuan!
  • flotus
    Madame Peng and I visited Bak Middle School of the Arts. Thank you to all talented students for a wonderful performances!
  • flotus
    I had a wonderful time visiting @HomeSafeFla today! The young ladies I spoke with hold so much promise for the future.
  • flotus
    Looking forward to hosting the annual Easter Egg Roll at the @WhiteHouse on Monday!
  • flotus
    Happy Easter!
  • flotus
    Our family truly enjoyed hosting today's #EasterEggRoll. Thank you to all of the volunteers who worked hard to make it a success.
  • flotus
    I am deeply honored to serve this wonderful country as First Lady!
  • flotus
    Hope everyone had fun at today's #EasterEggRoll at @whitehouse. We enjoyed seeing all the kids enjoying themselves on the south lawn!
  • flotus
    .@POTUS and I are pleased to welcome visitor's to today's @WhiteHouse #Spring garden tour. We hope everyone enjoys exploring the beautiful grounds where the flowers are in full bloom! #WHGarden
  • flotus
    Thank you for welcoming me @childrensnational. My prayers and thoughts are with all of the children and families. #GROWUPSTRONGER
  • flotus
    .@Potus and I visited brave men at Walter Reed Medical Center today. Thank you for your service!
  • flotus
    I was honored to welcome Queen Rania of Jordan at the @WhiteHouse today. I enjoyed spending the time speaking about our countries.
  • flotus
    Thank you to all who attended today's Senate spouses luncheon at the National Gallery of Art. I was delighted to be the guest of honor and thank everyone for their kind words & support.
  • flotus
    Emotional moment @ National Teacher of the Year Award @whitehouse. Congratulations to all wonderful teachers!
  • flotus
    Thank you @morikamimuseum for the inspirational presentation of your sacred gardens & life & culture in Japan
  • flotus
    It was an honor to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History @NMAAHC
  • flotus
    Celebrated #internationalwomensday in the White House with incredible women
  • flotus
    Official Portrait of First Lady

Melania Trump's Outfits as FLOTUS

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  • Inauguration Day
  • Inaugural Ball

    FLOTUS dons a collaboration "designed by Hervé Pierre and Melania Trump" at the Inaugural Ball.

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  • National Prayer Services

    Melania attends National Prayer Services on January 21, 2017, in Washington, DC. in Christian Louboutins.

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  • Palm Beach

    Melania arrives in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 3, 2017, in a red Givenchy cape-sleeve shift dress and red flats.

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  • Red Cross Gala

    The first lady attends the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala on February 4, 2017, in pink Dior.

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  • Super Bowl

    FLOTUS turns to The Row and Derek Lam to watch the Super Bowl at Trump International Golf Club Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 5, 2017.

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  • Palm Beach

    Melania steps off Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on February 10, 2017, in head-to-toe Michael Kors.

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  • Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Tour

    US First Lady Melania Trump wears Calvin Klein as she tours the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, on February 11, 2017, with and Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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  • Hosting Japanese Prime Minister

    FLOTUS stuns in a black lace number with POTUS, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akke Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 11, 2017.

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  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Visit

    President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump (in Karl Lagerfeld) welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on February 15, 2017. 

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  • Melbourne Rally

    US First Lady Melania Trump wears Alexander McQueen as she listens as her husband address a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on February 18, 2017.

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  • Trump's First Joint Session Of Congress

    Melania's Michael Kors outfit for husband's first joint session of Congress left everyone talking.

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  • US-POLITICS-TRUMP

    US First Lady Melania Trump wears Ralph Lauren for the White House for a luncheon on International Women's Day on March 8, 2017.

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  • Departing White House

    Melania Trump donned Alice Roi while departing the White House on March 17, 2017.

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  • Women's History Month

    Melania Trump walks into the East Room dressed in The Row to attend an event celebrating Women's History Month on March 29, 2017.

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  • Meeting Queen Rania

    FLOTUS turns to Herve Pierre again for her meeting with Queen Rania of Jordan on April 5, 2017.

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  • West Palm Beach

    The first lady arrives in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2017 in a patterned, belted black dress.

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  • Hosting China's First Lady

    Melania Trump hosts China's first lady in a subtly altered $5,500 red Valentino dress.

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  • Bak Middle School visit

    FLOTUS sports a Hermes scarf while visiting the Bak Middle School of the Arts on April 7, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

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  • Easter Egg Roll

    US First Lady Melania Trump leaves the annual Easter Egg Roll in a pale pink sleeveless tea-length dress by Herve Pierre.

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  • Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    Melania visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on April 22, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland in a short, tan trenchcoat and black pants.

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  • Melania's Birthday

    The first lady wears a navy blue suit with a large belt on her birthday on April 26, 2017.

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  • Argentine president and first lady visit

    The US first lady hosts Argentine first lady on April 27, 2017, in a green $4,115 ensemble.

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  • Healing Garden Opening Ceremony

    Melania wears a white eyelet dress as she takes part in a ribbon cutting for the Healing Garden at the Children's National Medical Center on April 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.

    Getty

  • Celebration of Military Mothers Event

    FLOTUS walks into the East Room for an event for military mothers on National Military Spouse Appreciation Day at the White House May 12, 2017, wearing wide-legged black trousers and a crisp white blouse. 

    Getty

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