Obama to travel to Saudi Arabia to discuss security, tensions

WASHINGTON Mon Feb 3, 2014 12:43pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) stands next to Vice President Joseph Biden as he discusses unemployment, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) stands next to Vice President Joseph Biden as he discusses unemployment, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 31, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia in March to meet with King Abdullah to discuss a range of security issues in the Middle East that have caused some strains in the bilateral relationship.

The rare visit, which comes at the end of an Obama trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy, will include discussions about "Gulf and regional security, peace in the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of prosperity and security," the White House said in a statement.

King Abdullah met Secretary of State John Kerry in November and discussed concerns about the unwillingness of the United State to intervene in Syria and recent overtures to its arch-rival, Iran.

Saudi Arabia turned down a seat on the United Nations Security Council in October, in a display of anger at the failure of the international community to end the war in Syria.

That month, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief said the kingdom was looking at making a "major shift" in relations with the United States.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have long been close allies on military and energy issues.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
Plenty to discuss with his brothers I assume.

Feb 03, 2014 1:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Inspired43 wrote:
Why is Obama visiting the terrorist nation?

Known facts: All terrorists including Al-Qaeda is sponsored by Saudi. Bin Laden was a Saudi. The 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.

Saudi supporting terrorists in Pakistan, Iraq and Syria.

The world’s worst dictatorship with world’s worst human rights issues. The most oppressive regime.

Obama blah blahs so much about democracy and now he is visiting this most oppressive country to discuss security issues. What a joke? When they themselves support terrorists.

Even after knowing all this why is Obama still visiting Saudi monarch.

Feb 03, 2014 3:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.