Obama to meet Saudi deputy crown prince

Obama to meet Saudi deputy crown prince
President Barack Obama is to host the Saudi deputy crown prince on Friday, with Middle East conflicts and the kingdom's new economic plan topping the agenda.
2 min read
17 June, 2016
The prince has met most of Washington's big hitters during his week-long visit [Anadolu]

US President Barack Obama will host the Saudi deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman at the White House Friday, underscoring the young royal's meteoric rise to power in the kingdom.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said that Obama would meet the 30-year-old prince, who holds a pivotal role in pushing economic reform and in his country's security apparatus.

The prince, who is the Saudi defence minister, has met most of Washington's big hitters during a week-long visit, including the CIA director, secretaries of state and defence, and leading members of Congress.

Schultz said the meeting would provide an opportunity to discuss issues including the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and "our cooperation with the Saudis in the campaign against ISIL," another acronym for the Islamic State group.

Obama and the deputy crown prince are also expected to review Saudi Arabia's efforts to make its economy less reliant on oil revenues.

The visit comes amid frayed relations between the two long-time allies.

Saudi Arabia vehemently opposed the Iran nuclear deal greenlighted by the Obama administration and rejects subsequent calls to bring Iran out of its international isolation.

Recent pressure on the Obama administration to release confidential files related to the 9/11 attacks that allegedly implicate Saudi individuals as well as legal efforts to allow families of the victims to sue foreign nations led to further tensions.