The two leaders discussed regional issues, including efforts to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the crises in Yemen and Syria, and the Iran nuclear deal.
King Salman said during the meeting that Riyadh is willing to work with Washington to achieve peace and stability in the region, adding, “We consider our relations with the United States to be advantageous to the world and our region.”
He also called for greater cooperation between the two countries in all fields, especially in the economic sector. The King told Obama that he had wanted his first official trip as King to be to the US.
“We want to work together for world peace,” the Saudi King said. “Our region must achieve stability, which is essential for the prosperity of its people, and in our country, thank God we are prosperous, but we want prosperity for the entire region. We are willing to cooperate with you in order to achieve that.”
In response, President Obama echoed the King’s concerns about peace and stability in the region, especially in Yemen, calling for the need to “restore a functioning government that is inclusive and that can relieve the humanitarian situation there.”
The meeting also touched on the crisis in Syria where the US is leading a campaign, with the participation of Saudi Arabia, against extremists, including ISIS militants.
“We continue to cooperate extremely closely in countering terrorism activities in the region and around the world, including our battle against ISIL,” Obama added, using another acronym for the militant group.
The US president also said he will discuss with King Salman ways to achieve a political transition process to end the conflict in Syria.
Regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Obama reiterated pledges to ensure that the deal will prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons and restrain its destabilizing activities in the region.
Obama was keen to address the Saudis’ concerns about Iran’s regional influence, White House officials told Asharq Al-Awsat, and stressed his country’s commitment to preserving security in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia and fellow Gulf states fear that lifting the sanctions on Iran would embolden it to pursue what they describe as “hostile” policy in the region.
Iran and six world powers, including the US, reached a deal in July that calls for Tehran to reduce its enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.