Obama Leading US Delegation to Pay Respects to Late Saudi King – Voice of America
President Barack Obama will lead a 30-member delegation to Riyadh on Tuesday to pay respects following last week’s death of Saudi King Abdullah.
The group includes current officials and lawmakers as well as senior officials from previous presidential administrations, the White House said.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with Obama that the delegation will also meet with new King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
“I’m sure that while we’re there they’ll touch on some of the leading issues where we cooperate very closely with Saudi Arabia,” Rhodes said.
He listed the U.S.-led military campaign targeting Islamic State militants in Syria, and the situation in Yemen, where U.S. airstrikes have for years targeted fighters from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan and the head of U.S. Central Command General Lloyd Austin are among the members of Obama’s administration going to Saudi Arabia. Former Secretaries of State James Baker and Condoleezza Rice will also join the president, along with former National Security Advisers Brent Scowcroft, Sandy Berger and Stephen Hadley.
The White House said Obama is scheduled to be in Saudi Arabia for about four hours after arriving from his three-day trip to India.