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A Strong U.S.-Saudi Relationship

U.S. President Barack Obama (front L) is escorted from Marine One to Air Force One as he departs Saudi Arabia to return to Washington, March 29, 2014.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have been strong partners for over eighty years.

President Barack Obama met recently with Saudi King Abdullah at the king’s desert retreat outside of Riyadh to underscore the importance of the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The two countries have been strong partners for over eighty years.

On defense cooperation, counterterrorism, energy, bilateral trade and investment, among other areas, the two countries have worked together to build a robust alliance. President Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State John Kerry, conveyed to King Abdullah how much the United States values their strategic relationship.

In addition, the talks between the two heads of state centered on key regional issues that affect both countries, including Iran’s nuclear program and its other destabilizing activities in the region, as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria.

On Iran, according to senior administration officials, President Obama took the opportunity to assure the King that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and is engaging in negotiations with Iran with eyes fully open. Mr. Obama pointed out that the Joint Plan of Action agreed to in November by the P5+1 countries and Iran has already set back Iran’s nuclear program in important respects, and given time for the parties to negotiate a comprehensive solution that will be acceptable only if it ensures that Iran’s program is exclusively peaceful.

On Syria, the two men discussed the humanitarian crisis and the strategic direction the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have taken in sharing the objective of bringing about a political transition and an end to the Assad regime, and the necessity of supporting and providing assistance to the moderate Syrian opposition , so they are a stronger counterweight to Assad and to the anti-Assad extremist groups.

At the end of the meeting, President Obama and King Abdullah agreed there was much more to discuss and emphasized the need for follow-up by their most senior officials, so that the critical relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia continues in vigor and strength.