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US, Saudi Arabia play down rift

Saudi King Salman (R) meets with US President Barack Obama at Erga Palace in Riyadh on January 27, 2015The White House and Saudi Arabia scrambled to quell talk of a diplomatic rift Monday, after King Salman pulled out of a summit with President Barack Obama at the eleventh hour. Obama had invited six Gulf leaders to the presidential retreat, amid suspicions that Washington is no longer committed to their security and is not doing enough to stop Iran’s destabilizing actions across the region. The US president has warned the deeply conservative monarchies that they must reform, and has launched nuclear talks with their arch-foe Iran. With just days before Wednesday’s meeting at the White House and Thursday’s gathering at Camp David, Riyadh said it would instead send Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and the king’s influential son Mohammed bin Salman.

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