ASG Vice President Prem Kumar on Saudi King Salman’s Visit to the U.S.

Saudi Arabia: King Plans to Visit U.S.

King Salman will visit the White House next week for the first time since ascending to the throne, Saudi officials said, as part of a trip intended to patch over differences with President Obama over the Iran nuclear agreement. While White House officials refused to confirm the Sept. 4 visit, John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, said Wednesday that he would not contradict an announcement on the trip by the Saudi authorities. “If the Saudi government announced it, I’m certainly not in any position to characterize it any other way,” Mr. Kirby said. King Salman, who became king in January, pulled out of a summit meeting with Persian Gulf leaders at Camp David in May. The Saudis have been concerned about the Iran accord but endorsed it three weeks ago, along with other Gulf states, after receiving assurances from American officials. Prem G. Kumar, a Middle East expert at the Albright Stonebridge Group, said the Saudis’ biggest concern was “how the U.S. will counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the Middle East.”

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