Saudi King Salman to make first Washington visit

Saudi King Salman to make first Washington visit
1 min read
26 August, 2015
King Salman of Saudi Arabia is to make his first visit to the United States since becoming monarch in early September, officials have confirmed.
King Salman pulled out of a planned US visit in May [AFP]

Saudi officials say King Salman will visit the United States early next month for the first time since ascending the throne and will meet with President Barack Obama.

The diplomats told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Salman is expected in Washington on 5 September for a visit that could last two to three days.

Another Saudi diplomat told AFP that the monarch was scheduled to visit Washington to attend a Saudi-American business forum.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Salman, who ascended the throne in January after the death of King Abdullah, had declined an invitation by US President Barak Obama to attend a summit of Gulf Arab leaders at Camp David in May.

The move was seen as a snub to the Obama administration over the Iranian nuclear deal that was still being negotiated, which has raised many concerns in Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional rival.

Saudi Arabia has pursued a more direct approach in its regional competition with Iran since Salman came to power.

In March, the Kingdom launched a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen, whom it accuses of being sponsored by Iran.