May 13, 2015 / 3:43 PM / 3 years ago

Obama praises Saudi leaders, says plans to discuss Yemen in meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he would discuss with Saudi Arabia’s visiting leaders how to build on a ceasefire in Yemen and praised the country for being a critical U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State militants.

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (C) and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Obama made the remarks at the start of a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office, ahead of a wider summit with a group of Gulf Arab countries.

Obama praised the two men and his work with them in an apparent effort to downplay the absence of King Salman, who pulled out of the summit a few days ago.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Emily Stephenson

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