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Saudi king to visit US for first time since rift

Latest Update: August 26, 2015 | 111 Views

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman will visit the United States next month for the first time since acceding the throne and following a rift over America’s rapprochement with Iran, a diplomat said Wednesday.

The monarch, who pulled out of a Gulf leaders’ summit with US President Barack Obama in May at the last minute, would travel to Washington on September 4, the Saudi diplomat said.

He would also attend a US-Saudi forum in Washington to be held on September 4-6, the source said, requesting anonymity.

The forum would focus on “energy, health, petrochemicals as well as financial services,” among other issues, said the diplomat.

Washington has sought to allay the concerns of its traditional allies over a historic deal it and other world powers reached with Tehran over the Islamic republic’s suspect nuclear programme.

Since late last year, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has also been part of a US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State group which has occupied parts of Iraq and Syria.

US aerial refuelling, intelligence and other assistance have also supported a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.



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