Obama set to visit Riyadh next month

The US President will visit Saudi Arabia on April 21 for a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council

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US President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia on April 21 for a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the White House announced on Wednesday.

They’ll discuss the fight against ISIS and other Mideast security issues, the White House said.

Obama hosted GCC leaders at Camp David last May. A joint communique issued after the meeting said that the leaders underscored their mutual commitment to a US-GCC strategic partnership to build closer relations in all fields, including defense and security cooperation, and develop collective approach to regional issues.

Obama led a large, bipartisan US delegation to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah last January.

Obama and Saudi King Salman held an hour-long meeting in which they discussed a range of issues. The two countries have been strategic partners for 70 years.

Obama will also visit Windsor Castle, where he will have a private lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, and 10 Downing Street for a joint press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Obama will conclude his trip with a previously announced visit to Germany, where he’ll attend the world’s largest trade show and meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The White House said the visit “will allow the president to offer his gratitude to the British government and people for their stalwart partnership with his administration and the American people throughout his presidency.”

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on March 17, 2016.

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