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Nordic PMs poke fun at Trump's Saudi photo op

May 31, 2017 at 12:46 am

Participants pose for a photo during the Arabic Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 21 May 2017. Pictured above is Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and others. [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency ]

World leaders don’t generally troll each other, but the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries are giving it a shot.

They just posted a photograph of themselves clasping a soccer ball – a droll take on a photo of US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi holding a glowing orb that went viral last week.

That orb was an illuminated globe at the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, the opening of which the three leaders were attending on May 21. Eerie lighting gave the photo an aura of comic-book villains plotting world domination, an image that proved irresistible to the Twitterati .

And, apparently, it was just as irresistible to Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Juha Sipila, Bjarni Benediktsson, Erna Solberg and Stefan Lofven, the prime ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden respectively.

At a meeting in Bergen, Norway, to discuss cooperation among their countries, the five heads of government came up with their own version of the photo, and stuck it on social media. On her Facebook page, Norway’s Solberg made the comparison explicit.

“Who rules the world? Riyadh vs Bergen,” Solberg wrote under the Trump photo and the photo of her and her fellow Nordic leaders.

“Don’t know what those in the upper photo were thinking,” she wrote. “In the lower one are the five Nordic prime ministers, holding a ball with the sustainability goals. We’re hoping they’ll be a roadmap for the future.”