Saudi Arabia Invites Muslims from Iran to Holy Pilgrimage in Mecca

Saudi King postpones state visit to Maldives over H1N1 outbreak

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2017.

Issuing visas and security arrangements were major sticking points.

"Yemen is going to be the major theatre where the U.S. is going to squeeze Iran", said Professor Gerges.

But the move came after Egypt voted in favour of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution on Syria that Saudi Arabia strongly opposed. The top military general, Ahmed al-Asiri, also said that the United States is committed to increase defence cooperation against the Islamic Republic's meddling in the region and against its proxies.

Saudi Arabia said the crush happened because pilgrims went the wrong way down a one-way passage but has never provided a detailed explanation of what went awry.

Egypt has received its first two oil shipments from Saudi giant Aramco after deliveries were suspended for several months over political differences, an oil ministry spokesman said on Sunday (Mar 19).

The meeting between Mr Trump and Prince bin Salman was one of a host of high-level meetings between officials from both countries and the White House is showing signs that Saudi Arabia may be taking an influential role in shaping its policies in the Middle East. He said King Salman's proposal on terrorism carries hope for a bright future for all countries of the world in order to reach peace and stability.

Riyadh has also been frustrated by Cairo's unwillingness to send ground troops to join a Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen. The senior adviser said Prince Mohammed "expressed his satisfaction after the meeting on the positive position and clarifications he heard from President Trump on his views on Islam".

Both Iran and Yemen have been listed in Mr Trump's travel ban and while the Saudis welcome Mr Trump's hard-line on Iran, US officials said the President was considering ending a ban on US weapon sales to the Saudis.

"I think they're going to find rhetorically that the new administration says things and uses language they like more", said Gause.

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