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Obama Stands by Tough Words for Saudis in Meeting With King

  • No apology for remarks about `free riders,' U.S. official says
  • Obama is on a two-day trip to Riyadh to meet with Arab leaders
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How Fraught Are U.S., Saudi Arabian Relations?

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President Barack Obama reassured Saudi Arabia’s King Salman that the U.S. is his country’s ally during a private meeting in Riyadh on Wednesday, but made no apology for recent criticism of Saudi policies and insisted that its government must learn to co-exist with rival Iran, a U.S. official said.

Obama’s two-day stop in Riyadh, perhaps his last visit to the Middle East as president, is intended to reassure regional allies that the U.S. is committed to the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group and is not improving its relationship with Iran at their expense.