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Saudi King Salman to Visit Obama Next Week

FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Jan. 27, 2015.

Saudi King Salman is visiting Washington next week to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama about several Middle East issues.

"His visit underscores the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday in announcing the visit, set for September 4.

Earnest said the two leaders would focus on ways to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, "including our joint security and counterterrorism efforts."

He said Obama and the king would also discuss the ongoing warfare in Yemen and Syria, as well as "steps to counter Iran's destabilizing activities in the region."

Saudi Arabia, which vies with Iran for Middle East influence, is supporting the international accord to keep Tehran from building a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of United Nations and Western sanctions that have hobbled Iran's economy.