Saudi Deputy Crown Prince meets with Obama

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Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Friday visited the White House to meet with US President Barack Obama. The president and crown prince discussed bilateral and historical ties between the two countries.

During the meeting Obama commended the Deputy Crown Prince’s recently announced Vision 2030 reform plans. Meanwhile Mohammed bin Salman underscored Saudi Arabia’s “strong support for the Paris Agreement and welcomed cooperation with the United States on clean energy issues”.

In a statement the White House said that Obama had expressed his country’s commitment to continue cooperation with Saudi Arabia and for the two nations to work together to support the security and stability of the Middle East region, and the challenges the region faced. The two also discussed Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan.

The White House statement added: “President Obama met this morning in the Oval Office with His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, to continue discussions begun in April at the US-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh.

“The President expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the campaign against ISIL," the statement added using a different acronym for ISIS. "Reviewing recent Iraqi gains against ISIL, the President and Deputy Crown Prince discussed steps to support the Iraqi people, including increased Gulf support to fund urgent humanitarian and stabilization needs.”

On Syria the statement added that the pair reaffirmed the importance of supporting the cessation of hostilities and a political transition away from Asad.

They also agreed to build support for Libya’s Government of National Accord. “With regard to Yemen,” the statement added “the President welcomed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to concluding a political settlement of the conflict and of GCC support to address urgent humanitarian needs and rebuild the country.”

On Iran, they discussed its ‘destabilizing activities’ and agreed to explore avenues that could lead to a de-escalation of tensions.
“They also discussed the important role Saudi Arabia can play in addressing extremist ideology,” the press statement added.

The two met following a series of meetings with business representatives and government officials. The deputy crown prince’s visit to the US Thursday included a meeting at the Pentagon with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, during which the pair discussed the situation in the Middle East.