Obama set to meet with Saudi deputy crown prince

Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the US president will take place on Friday at the White House

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US President Barack Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince on Friday and the two are expected to discuss conflicts in the Middle East including the campaign against ISIS, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.

The deputy crown prince is on a visit to the United States aimed at restoring frayed relations with Washington and to promote a plan to slash the kingdom's dependence on oil revenues.

Earlier on Thursday, Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the Pentagon and held a bilateral meeting on security issues of mutual concern with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Carter held enhanced honor guard to welcome his guest on the steps of the Pentagon.

On Monday, in the first item on his itinerary, he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in his home in Washington.

The State Department said that the two shared an iftar dinner – a meal that marks the end of the day’s fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan – and “reviewed the strong and enduring relationship” between their countries.

Kerry and Prince Mohammed also “discussed a broad range of regional issues, including Yemen, Syria, Libya, and countering terrorism.” Saudi’s plan to reform its economy, unveiled in April, was also discussed.

The two also talked about the deadly Orlando shootings on Sunday, and “expressed their shared commitment to continue their cooperation in combatting the spread of violent extremism, both regionally and internationally,” a state department spokesman said.

Then on Wednesday, Prince Mohammed met with a number of leading congressmen and women in Washington.

A previous release stated that he was set to meet with Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Democratic minority House leader Nancy Pelosi, and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, in addition to prominent business leaders in the US capital.

The deputy crown prince is leading a large delegation on this visit, which includes ministers of energy, foreign affairs, information and trade, along with military commanders.

After Washington, the visit is also expected to include stops in New York and California.

(With Reuters)

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