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Obama Says U.S. Must Balance Human Rights, Security With Saudis


U.S. President Barack Obama met Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh on January 27

President Barack Obama has arrived in Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the royal family following King Abdullah's death.

Obama cut short the final day of his trip to India to make a four-hour stop in Riyadh.

In an interview with CNN before leaving India, Obama said that Washington must balance its advocacy for human rights in Saudi Arabia with the need to cooperate with the kingdom on counterterrorism and security.

Obama said that it's most effective to apply "steady, consistent pressure" on Saudi Arabia over human rights even as the United States works with the Saudis to get business done.

Obama will hold his first formal meeting with new King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and then attend a dinner with other Saudi officials at the Erga Palace.

Secretary of State John Kerry is joining Obama in Riyadh.

Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona who is a frequent critic of Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East, is also part of the delegation.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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