Obama to meet with Saudi king at G20 summit in Turkey
U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman at the G20 summit in Turkey on Sunday evening, a White House official said, according to Reuters news agency.
The two countries are partners in a coalition bombing ISIS militants in Syria, which will be a topic up for heavy discussion following multiple Paris attacks on Friday, which left 129 people dead.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received King Salman, head of the Kingdom’s delegation to the G20 summit, at the president’s residence in Antalya.
Erdogan also held a luncheon in honor of the King, during which they discussed subjects on the summit’s agenda, bilateral relations between the two countries and matters of mutual concern.
Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, attended the luncheon, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Erdogan, in a later statement, urged world leaders on Saturday to prioritize the fight against terrorism at the summit, saying attacks in Paris showed the time for words was now over.
“We are now at a point where words end in the fight against terrorism. We are now at a stage where this should be put at the forefront,” Erdogan told reporters ahead of a two-day summit of leaders from the Group of 20 major economies (G20) that begins on Sunday.
Although the G20 usually focuses on economic issues, insecurity in the Middle East and global security were already expected to be on the agenda.
French President Francois Hollande had told Erdogan by phone that he would not attend the summit, but that France’s finance and foreign ministers would be there, according to Turkish presidential sources.
Erdogan condemned the Paris killings and pointed to Turkey’s own long battle with domestic security threats.