(UPI) — President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday where he was greeted by King Salman amid U.S. controversy surrounding a bill seeking to revoke the Kingdom’s sovereign immunity that protects it from facing lawsuits related to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia with senior members of his Cabinet, including National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Homeland Security Counter Terrorism Coordinator Lisa Monico, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Deputy National Advisor for Communication Ben Rhodes and Rob Malley, a senior advisor to Obama specializing in Middle East affairs and the Islamic State.
Obama was greeted by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar and Joseph W. Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. president reached Saudi Arabia’s Erga Palace shortly after 2 p.m. local time to hold a meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and other senior Saudi officials including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Defense Minister — and the King’s son — Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
King Salman greeted Obama when the president’s motorcade arrived to Erga Palace.
“I and the Saudi people are very pleased that you Mr. President are visiting us here in the kingdom,” King Salman said within the palace chambers where the bilateral meeting was held.