Obama aides consult Saudis ahead of Riyadh visit

By REUTERS
February 13, 2014 19:28




President Barack Obama's advisers consulted a top Saudi Arabia official ahead of Obama's visit to Riyadh in late March in a flurry of White House activities relating to the Middle East.

Obama will visit Saudi Arabia as part of a trip that will also take him to Europe. He has some fence-mending to do with the Saudis, who have been concerned that the US drive for a nuclear agreement with Iran will end sanctions against Tehran too quickly.



Two top White House officials - national security adviser Susan Rice and homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco - met on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia's powerful Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.



They discussed security cooperation and efforts to address violent extremism and terrorism across the Middle East, a White House statement said on Thursday.



"They also exchanged views on regional issues and committed to continuing to strengthen our cooperation on a range of common interests," said the statement from Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.



Obama is engaged in Middle East policy on a number of fronts.

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