Readout of the President’s Meeting with King Salman bin Abd alAziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
President Obama began his fourth visit to Saudi Arabia by meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abd alAziz Al-Saud. The two leaders reaffirmed the historic friendship and deep strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Thanking His Majesty and Saudi Arabia for their hospitality and leadership in hosting the April 21 U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, the President underscored the importance of accelerating the campaign against ISIL and welcomed Saudi Arabia’s important role in the Coalition. The two leaders also reviewed regional conflicts, with the President welcoming the recent cessation of hostilities in Yemen and the King’s commitment to providing humanitarian assistance across all of Yemen. On Syria, they discussed the importance of reinforcing the Cessation of Hostilities and committed to supporting a political transition away from Asad. The President and King also exchanged views on the situation in Iraq, with the President highlighting the importance of stabilizing areas liberated from ISIL. Both leaders underscored the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and underlined the necessity of reaching a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on two states living side-by-side in peace and security. Taking note of the political uncertainty in Lebanon, they undertook to consider steps to strengthen state institutions. More broadly, the President and King discussed the challenges posed by Iran’s provocative activities in the region, agreeing on the importance of an inclusive approach to de-escalating regional conflicts. Separately, they discussed the political, economic, and social challenges affecting all of the countries of the region, and steps governments could take to better meet their citizens’ political and economic aspirations. In that regard, the President raised concerns related to human rights, and noted their importance to the United States. The two leaders agreed that their broad discussions were important to addressing the many issues of concern to the United States and Saudi Arabia.