Obama arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Salman

RIYADH – U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday for a visit during which he is expected to hold talks with newly-instated King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

King Salman and Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz received Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the airport.

Saudi Arabia's Royal Court announced one day earlier that talks between Obama and King Salman would focus on means of promoting bilateral ties and regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The talks will be the first to take place between Obama and Salman since the latter's accession to the throne on Saturday following the death of his predecessor, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

Obama reportedly called King Salman two days ago to offer his country's condolences for the death of King Abdullah.

Washington had said that the U.S. president would cut short a visit to India to fly to Riyadh to offer his condolences in person.

Over the past year, Obama – along with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel – conducted a number of visits to the oil-rich kingdom amid tension between the two longstanding allies due to Washington's recent diplomatic overtures towards Iran and perceived inaction on the Syria crisis.

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