Obama leads US dignitaries paying respects in Saudi Arabia

By , on January 27, 2015

US President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of Obama's official Facebook page.
US President Barack Obama. Photo courtesy of Obama’s official Facebook page.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Barack Obama is leading a high-level delegation of current and former American officials to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to pay respects following King Abdullah’s death and to take measure of the kingdom’s new monarch.

Obama cut short the final day of his trip to India to make the four-hour stop in Riyadh. He 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, along with former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and James Baker III. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona republican who is a frequent critic of Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East, is also part of the delegation.