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Saudi King Abdullah meets Obama at the White House

US President Barack Obama has met Saudi King Abdullah at the White House and discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues including the Middle East, terrorism, Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear programme.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2010 10:36 IST

US President Barack Obama has met Saudi King Abdullah at the White House and discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues including the Middle East, terrorism, Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear programme.

During the talks on Tuesday, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of efforts to prevent violent extremism.

Obama welcomed Saudi Arabia's successful counter-terrorism actions against al-Qaeda, including the positions taken by the Kingdom's highest religious body to prohibit terrorism and its financing.

"We talked about our joint interest and work together in combating violent extremism. And we talked about a range of strategic issues, including issues related to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and its attempts to develop nuclear weapons capacity," Obama said in his remarks.

"We discussed the Middle East peace process and the importance of moving forward in a significant and bold way in securing a Palestinian homeland that can live side by side with a secure and prosperous Israeli state," he said.

Obama and 86-year-old Abdullah stated their strong support for the efforts of the P5+1 with regard to Iran's nuclear programme and urged Iran to meet its international obligations under UN Security Council and IAEA resolutions.

They expressed their hope that proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians will lead to the resumption of direct talks with the aim of two states living side-by-side in peace and security, the White House said.

The President and King Abdullah also discussed the importance of resuming the Israeli-Syrian and the Israeli-Lebanese tracks in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, it said, adding Obama welcomed the King's continued leadership in support of the Arab Peace Initiative.

Obama and Abdullah also discussed international efforts to assist Afghanistan, their support for the Lebanese government as it seeks to preserve its sovereignty, the importance of a secure and prosperous Yemen, and the need for an inclusive government formation process in Iraq and the expansion of productive ties between a unified, sovereign Iraq and its neighbors.

They also consulted on the results of the G-20 summit and global economic growth. They welcomed the continuing expansion of economic, scientific, business, and educational ties, including the historically high numbers of Saudi students in the United States.

"As representatives of two G-20 countries, we also continued the conversation that took place this weekend about how the Saudi government and the US government can work with our other partners around the world to keep the economic recovery going and to help bring about the strong economic growth that's necessary to put people back to work," Obama said.

This is the first time the Saudi King and President Obama met in the White House. The last time they met when Obama visited the Kingdom ahead of his famous speech in Cairo about the Muslim world, in April of 2009.