The Middle East

Saudi King at the White House: Nothing to See Here, Folks – Thomas Lippman

by Thomas W. Lippman

One of the most predictable, scripted events in Washington is a visit to the White House by a foreign leader during which neither the president nor his visitor wants to make any real news. A classic of the genre unfolded Friday when King Salman of Saudi Arabia, on his first trip to the United States since assuming the throne last winter, went to see President Obama.

The two posed for pictures, chatted amiably, met privately for a while, and had lunch together. Then they issued a joint statement that predictably reaffirmed the strength and durability of the bilateral relationship but contained nothing of substance and offered no new initiatives related to any of the multiple conflicts ravaging the Middle East.

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