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Much at stake in Obama’s tense visit to Saudi Arabia




US President Barack Obama (2L) speaks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh on April 20, 2016.
US President Barack Obama (2L) speaks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh on April 20, 2016.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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No love was lost between President Obama and the leaders of Saudi Arabia. The President met this morning in Riyadh with King Salman.

Later he'll attend a summit with leaders of six Persian Gulf leaders. Tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia have increased since Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. King Salman made that apparent in greeting other leaders, but not President Obama, as they arrived at the airport.

The President also got a lot of attention for his recent interview with the Atlantic, in which he said that that Saudi Arabia and Iran need “to find an effective way to share the neighborhood.” There are several other points of conflict between the US and Saudi Arabia, one of them coming from a bill in Congress that would allow 9/11 survivors and family members to sue the Saudi government for any role it might have played in the attacks.

There's also a new push to declassify 28 pages of the 9/11 report that supposedly describe a link between Saudi funding of radical clerics and the attacks. Saudi Arabia's used to being criticized for its funding of extreme Islam.

We’ll talk about the political implications of those issues.

Guests:

David Andrew Weinberg, a senior fellow at the foreign policy think tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he covers Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf monarchies 

Karen Elliott House, author of “On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines and Future” (Vintage, 2013) and former Publisher of The Wall Street Journal