US President Barack Obama will begin an official visit to Saudi Arabia today during which he will meet the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. He will also participate in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit which will be held in Riyadh. The White House said that talks during President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia will focus on counter-terrorism issues, the situation in Syria and confronting Iran’s activities in the region.
President Obama confirmed during a television interview with the American network CBS News on Monday night that he will veto any bill passed in Congress that links Saudi Arabia to the events of the 11th of September 2001. Obama said he was opposed to this tendency as it would expose the United States of America to lawsuits made by citizens of other countries. A group of US lawmakers have brought up the possibility of passing a bill to allow Americans to sue foreign governments and lift diplomatic immunity if they are found to be responsible for attacks on US territory.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is also the Second Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence held a meeting with the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in Riyadh yesterday. The two sides discussed areas of military cooperation between the two countries and the latest developments in the Middle East. The defence ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will meet their US counterpart today to discuss ways of enhancing joint US – Gulf action with regards to fighting terrorism and extremism.