Saudi King in Washington amid concerns over Iran | News | DW | 04.09.2015
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Saudi King in Washington amid concerns over Iran

Saudi Arabia's King Salman is making his first visit to the White House since ascending the throne. He has said that his country is willing to cooperate with the US to achieve stability in the Middle East.

The Obama administration greeted King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Friday with assurances that the Iran nuclear deal comes with the necessary resources to help check the Islamic Republic's regional ambitions.

Saudi Arabia, Washington's long-term Gulf ally, is the major rival of Iran's influence in the Middle East.

The nuclear deal will provide the Shiite nation with hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions in exchange for a decade of constraints on its nuclear program. Officials in the Sunni nation of Saudi Arabia cautiously supported the deal, but worry about its enforcement and a destabilization of the region.

During his visit to Washington, King Salman underlined that Saudi Arabia was willing to cooperate with the US to achieve stability in the Middle East.

Concerns about Yemen

President Barack Obama also said the US shared Saudi Arabia's concerns about Yemen and the need to restore an inclusive and functioning government there. Saudi Arabia has been leading airstrikes against the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are warring against the government. At the same time, the Obama administration expressed concerns about civilian casualties in Yemen.

Salman stated that the US-Saudi relationship benefited the world and called Barack Obama a "friend."

"We continue to cooperate extremely closely in countering terrorist activities in the region and around the world," Obama said on Friday. This included the fight against the terrorist group "Islamic State". Saudi Arabia also joined the US and several Arab states in airstrikes against the militant movement.

das/se (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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