WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has planned a trip to Saudi Arabia next month amid tension with the important U.S. ally over disputes in the region, the White House announced Monday.
Obama is to meet with King Abdullah and discuss security around the Middle East and Saudi Arabia's objections to U.S. policy on Iran and Syria, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
"Whatever differences we may have do not alter the fact that this is a very important and close partnership," Carney told reporters.
The stop is being added to a previously announced trip to Europe at the end of March. It will be Obama's first visit to Saudi Arabia since 2009.
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