Obama Flees To Saudi Arabia

  • President Obama went to Saudi Arabia to meet with the King (Salman) today to discuss U.S. troops in the region.
  • Obama has been to Saudi Arabia four times since he has been president to meet with the king.
  • A national summit is taking place in Saudi Arabia, to discuss counterterrorism for the Islamic State.

President Obama began his Saudi Arabia trip on Wednesday with a one-on-one meeting with King Salman amid growing tensions between Washington and Riyadh over what appears to be a shrinking U.S. footprint in the region.

The Saudi monarch greeted Obama at Erga Palace, where the two walked slowly to a reception room as the smell of incense wafted in the air. The two offered polite smiles as they sat down side by side for pictures at the start of their private meeting.

“The American people send their greetings and we are very grateful for your hospitality, not just for this meeting but for hosting the GCC-U.S. summit that’s taking place tomorrow,” Obama said, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council summit that starts Thursday.

Salman, speaking through a translator, offered similarly gracious words for the president, who is making his fourth trip to the Kingdom for face-to-face meetings and photos with royal rulers since becoming president.

“The feeling is mutual between us and the American people,” the king said.

The president was slated to spend little more than 24 hours in the Saudi capital before heading on to visits to London and Hannover, Germany.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain are participating in the regional summit, which the White House said would focus on regional stability, counterterrorism including the fight against the Islamic State and al-Qaida, and Iran. Talks are also expected to address the Saudi-led military campaign against Shiite rebels and their allies in neighboring Yemen.

Stepping off of Air Force One earlier at King Khalid International Airport, Obama was greeted on a red carpet not by King Salman but by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh. Before Obama landed, Saudi state television did not immediately air Obama’s arrival but showed the king greeting other senior officials from Gulf nations arriving for the summit.

U.S. officials have expressed hope the latest meeting will build on last year’s Camp David summit, though they acknowledge differences remain between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Obama’s recent comment that the Saudis and Iranians should “share the neighborhood” roiled officials in Riyadh.

The Sunni Muslim-ruled kingdom — the world’s biggest oil exporter and the largest buyer of American-made weapons — sees Shiite-led Iran as its main rival. Saudi leaders are concerned that concessions granted to Iran in last year’s nuclear deal will embolden it to pursue what the Saudis view as aggressive meddling throughout the region.

Salman’s reign has overseen a more assertive foreign policy, with Saudis venturing into Yemen and pushing the U.S. to take more aggressive moves to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia and Iran back opposing sides in Syria’s civil war and in the Yemen conflict, where the U.S. military is providing refueling and other logistical help to the Saudi-led war effort.

Ahead of Obama’s trip, a group of U.S. senators called on the president to press Saudi Arabia on human rights issues during the visit and raise the cases of two imprisoned advocates, blogger Raif Badawi and a man who defended him, rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair. Also behind bars is Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, who was sentenced to death for apostasy but later had his sentenced reduced on appeal to prison and lashes.

The White House said concerns about inclusive government and improved rights were on his agenda for the visit.

Saudi Arabia in early January carried out its largest mass execution in years, putting 47 people to death, including prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. That move triggered an angry reaction from Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia’s Shiite rival Iran, where protesters set fire to two Saudi diplomatic missions inside Iran. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies responded by severing or downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran.

Maya Foa, death penalty director for the human rights group Reprieve, said Obama’s visit “comes amid a huge surge in repression in the kingdom.” The London-based group is urging the president to raise the case of Al-Nimr’s nephew, Ali al-Nimr, and two other men on death row who were arrested while under 18 during protests in the kingdom’s oil-rich east.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the kingdom’s defense minister, said ahead of Obama’s visit that the Gulf and the U.S. must work together to confront challenges including terrorism, instability and what he described as Iranian interference into regional countries’ affairs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News

Comments

  1. John

    Hope they keep him over there!
    We DO NOT want him back!

    1. jUSTacOUBTRYbOY

      LOOKS TO ME LIKE THE MUSLIM IN THIEF HAS NO ONE FOOLED HERE,
      UNLIKE THE FOOLS ON THE LEFT.

      “HOPE AND CHANGE” = “HOPE I CAN FOOL ALL THESE AMERICAN IDIOTS BEFORE I
      CREATE A COMPLETE DICTATORSHIP CHANGE”

  2. jeanne

    He has his nose so far up the kings arse I don’t know how he can breathe !

  3. Richard Raymer

    He is a muslim working hard to destroy america. Saudi Arabia is backing him and will provide him a safe passage to Saudi Arabia when his destruction of America is complete with our financial collapse, and EMP attack. ?

  4. Charlotte Arrowsmith

    Every time he visits any place he gives away more of our MONEY. This Strategy has FAILED Miserably since 911 and these countries are having us for lunch. Bomb them off the face of the earth and stop this Insanity.

  5. Fredrick Rehders

    The Saudis are the ones supporting ISIS, ISIL, oand Al Quada, against Syria and any Christians or Jews they encounter, in the process. The USA is up to it’s bipee in secret financing of this foreign entanglement and kissing everyones a$$, for the opportunity to finance both sides. All wars are Bankster Wars! Welcome to the NWO!

    1. Bob Loblaw

      Thanks,
      You post the first truthful fact I’ve seen here.

      Conservatives are programmed to hate him, yet refuse to see the man behind the curtain.

      The bankers love war, destruction, and death. Muslims are a convenient target for America’s engineered hatred, whoever is POTUS will obey and kill kill kill in the name of freedom and the intention of profits and control.

  6. Larry Edwards

    Damn this stupidity! You can’t continue to use Iran for a scapegoat for these kinds of things. If Gaddafi was still alive the blame would have been on him.
    When that bombing happen, the government pointed a finger at Bin Laden and Al-Quaida but Bin Laden been dead a long time and Al-Quaida is in ruins so their is no money there. Therefore the government figures to get Iran to blame. They have not bought forth any evidence to the public at all that would be convincing. The decision comes as controversy swirls over pending legislation in Congress that would allow families of the Sept. 11 attacks to hold the government of Saudi Arabia liable in U.S. court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court dissented because he surely know when the fix is in.
    Other governments ought to see their lesson to learn in this matter and remove every single dime they have on deposit in U.S. banks before the time come that they could lose it all on the basis of lies.

  7. Jim

    The title says he flees, which means to run from something. It should say he flitted, as an insect might.

  8. mike

    Look at his record and harrys an hillarys

  9. mary czerczyk

    What can we expect from a Liberal, dislike everything American president. Not all americans send their greetings Mr. president

  10. Kurt

    4. times. ? Nobama proabably owe him something, remember, the Saudie king got him in to Harward, A 20.M.$. donation did the trick, no wonder NObama is banging his head in the floor ewery time he is there.

  11. Lorette Drew

    Barack Obama has never been “on America’s side”. He will do and say anything to undermine the U.S. Americans will never see the “28 pages” of the 9\11 report as long as he is president. B. Obama–the first anti-American president in U.S. history.

  12. REV BERNIE SIEBERS

    Every associate that I know believe Mr.B is himself a Muslim with a self serving Agenda and his agenda is not good for the USA. The media try to avoid this fact, but they know it.

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