Obama Looks To Mend Fences In Riyadh

Talk of a split between the US and Saudi Arabia is overblown, but in the face of multiple security threats and an upcoming US presidential election, Riyadh is looking to recalibrate its relationship with its most important ally.

The visit to Riyadh of US President Barack Obama on 20 April for a meeting with Saudi Arabian leader King Salman bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Saud came amid suggestions that the relationship between the two countries is in crisis. Much has been made of comments made by Mr Obama in an interview with US magazine The Atlantic that suggested he considers Saudi Arabia to be a “free rider” in the relationship, while King Salman’s decision not to meet the American president when he touched down in Riyadh (he instead sent the governor of Riyadh to perform hand-shaking duties) was described by CNN as a “snub.”


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