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Obama To Visit Saudi Arabia To Discuss Iran


U.S. President Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia on June 3 for talks on Iran's nuclear program and Washington's renewed push for a Middle East peace plan, the White House has said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, is a staunch U.S. ally in the region and has been a key player in the drive for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which Obama has declared a top foreign policy priority.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would meet Saudi King Abdullah and would also discuss terrorism.

The visit comes at a time when Obama is seeking to build an alliance of moderate Muslim nations to pressure Iran to halt its uranium-enrichment program, which Washington fears is a cover to build a nuclear bomb.

Saudi Arabia is among the United States' top 15 trading partners. Last year, two-way trade totaled $67.3 billion, which equaled about 2 percent of total U.S. exports and imports. Saudi Arabia exported $54.8 million worth of oil and few other products to the United States in 2008, and imported $12.5 billion of U.S. goods.

After Saudi Arabia, Obama will travel on to Egypt, where he is scheduled to give a major policy speech to the Muslim world.
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