The White House is cutting a coming trip to India short for President Obama to visit Saudi Arabia. The president will pay respects to the family of King Abdullah and the new king, King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Vice President Joe Biden had been scheduled to lead a U.S. delegation to Saudi, but will instead remain in Washington. White House press secretary Josh Earnest explained the movie in a statement.
“We adjusted the schedule in coordination with the Indian government so that the president would be able to depart India following his speech on Tuesday to stop in Riyadh during the return trip to meet with King Salman and other Saudi officials and offer his condolences on behalf of the American people. The president regrets that he will be unable to visit Agra during this trip.”
The move is disappointing some in India, who have worked tirelessly to prepare for President Obama’s trip to the Taj Mahal. Over 600 workers have worked to clean the streets and white marble of betel-nut spit stains. Two tons of trash was collected from a nearby river, and cows and stray dogs we rounded up.
It’s the right call for President Obama to visit, as the regions continues to face violent upheaval. This week, the sitting government in Yemen fell to rebels.
In addition to the unrest, the rapid decline in oil prices is being felt in Saudi Arabia as the government rushes to put forward job-creating infrastructure jobs.
President Obama’s trip begins on Sunday morning and he will be a guest at the annual Republic Day celebrations on Monday. He will leave directly from New Delhi, instead of the scheduled departure on Tuesday.
IMG Credit – Wikipedia / Bjørn Christian Tørrissen