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Thu 27 Aug 2015 02:08 PM

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Saudi's King Salman set to visit US for the first time

Unconfirmed trip is expected to smooth over differences with President Obama following Iran nuclear deal

Saudi's King Salman set to visit US for the first time
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. (AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will visit the US next week for the first time since ascending to the throne, according to Saudi officials.

The King’s visit on September 5 to Washington is seen as a trip that will seek to smooth over differences with President Obama over the Iran nuclear agreement. King Salman failed to attend a summit meeting with the US President and other Gulf leaders in Camp David in May, and was instead represented by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, and the King’s son and defence minister, Mohammad bin Salman.

After initial concerns about the nuclear deal, the Saudi government endorsed it three weeks ago, along the other GCC members, following assurances given by US officials.

The visit, which is expected to last three days, has not been officially confirmed as yet, but Saudi diplomats confirmed the planned trip to Associated Press. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said would not contradict a statement made by Saudi authorities.

“If the Saudi government announced it, I’m certainly not in any position to characterise it any other way,” Kirby told the New York Times.

The King is also expected to attend US-Saudi forum on energy, health, petrochemicals and financial services in Washington to be held from September 4 to 6. He’s expected to visit Egypt after the US trip, before returning to Saudi Arabia.