Obama to visit KSA in March

Updated 03 February 2014

Obama to visit KSA in March

US President Barack Obama is getting ready to visit Saudi Arabia in March for a summit with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in a renewed bid to smoothen and expand relations, according to Arab officials who have been briefed on the trip.
The American Embassy in Riyadh, however, neither confirmed nor denied it.
Johann Schmonsees, a spokesman for the US Embassy, said he would share information about the visit once it is announced by the US government. “The White House has said it is not planning any additional trips at this time; I will let you know if there is an official announcement,” Johann told Arab News.
A Wall Street Journal report said “the trip of President Obama has been confirmed by Arab officials.”
The visit is viewed as “very important” keeping in view the reservations expressed by Riyadh over American Middle East policy, particularly its outreach to Iran, its unwillingness to get involved militarily in Syria’s civil war and its policies on a host of issues affecting the Middle East region today.
Arab officials who were briefed on the upcoming summit, which was pulled together quickly in recent days, said it would be crucial to aligning American and Saudi policies, as political change and sectarian strife continue to sweep the Mideast and North Africa, said the Wall Street Journal report.
“This is about a deteriorating relationship and declining trust levels,” said the report, quoting a senior Arab official in describing the need for talks with King Abdullah.
Bernadette Meehan, a US National Security Council spokeswoman, said: “We do not have any additional trips to announce at this time.” Yet the reports said that Obama’s March trip will follow travel stops already announced by the White House in Brussels, The Hague and Rome. The visit may address burning issues like Iran and Syria.


Saudi Arabia records 30 more deaths from COVID-19

Updated 1 min 19 sec ago

Saudi Arabia records 30 more deaths from COVID-19

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced 30 more deaths from the coronavirus and 498 new cases of the disease on Thursday.
Of the new cases, 53 were recorded in Jeddah, 50 in Hufof, 46 in Makkah, 38 in Dammam, 36 in Riyadh and 22 in Madinah.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 314,793 after 1,007 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 4,599 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.