US President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to pay his tributes to late King Abdullah and respect to his grieving family and meet the newly appointed monarch, King Salman, according to a statement by the White House on Saturday.
The President’s visit to Saudi Arabia, a vital US ally in the Middle East, is being seen as important in the global perspective, especially because the Obama administration had to face severe criticism earlier this month for failing to send a senior government representative to France for a massive anti-terror unity march in Paris organized in the wake of the recent terror attacks at a media house in the French capital.
The leaders from across the world are traveling to Saudi capital, Riyadh, to pay their last tributes to Abdullah and pay their respects to the new ruler.
Late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud (90) was given the funeral services on Friday.
Obama, who is on a visit to India with US first lady Michelle in order to strengthen US-India ties, will be arriving Riyadh on his way home, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
The US President had to reschedule his departure from New Delhi in co-ordination with the Indian government after his planned trip to Taj Mahal in Agra was called off last minute.
“The President regrets that he will be unable to visit Agra during this trip,” Earnest said.
79-year-old Abdullah, who has been seen as a cautious reformer by many, faces a number of big challenges after assuming the charges, such as Iran issue, rising of terror outfit ISIS, Yemen crisis and the economically important issue of declining oil prices.