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OBAMA BEGINS MIDDLE EAST TOUR


President Obama with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during an arrival ceremony in Riyadh on Tuesday. At right are Mr. Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and national
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – President Barack Obama began his latest bid to open a dialogue with the Muslim world on Wednesday by seeking the counsel of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.
"The United States and Saudi Arabia have a long history of friendship. We have a strategic relationship," Obama said as he visited the monarch's desert horse farm.
The U.S. president called Abdullah wise and gracious, adding: "I am confident that working together that the United States and Saudi Arabia can make progress on a whole host of issues of mutual interest."
In turn, Abdullah expressed his "best wishes to the friendly American people who are represented by a distinguished man who deserves to be in this position."
Earlier, the king greeted Obama at Riyadh's main airport with a ceremony when the new U.S. president arrived after an overnight flight from Washington. Each country's national anthem was played, the Saudi national guard was on hand and there was a 21-gun salute.
Courtesy: Yahoo News
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