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Obama to confer with Saudi king over Mideast troubles

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will meet one-on-one with Saudi Arabia’s new monarch, King Salman, in Washington next week as the two allies struggle to reduce turmoil across the Middle East.

The White House says the two will talk Wednesday before Obama welcomes other heads of Gulf Cooperation Council countries for meetings at the White House and Camp David.

Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the fighting in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and Iran are on opposing sides, are key topics. The Saudis have announced a unilateral cease-fire in Yemen, to start Tuesday, as a “humanitarian pause” to allow food and other aid to reach Yemeni civilians.

Obama says the Mideast situation will grow worse if negotiations to rein in Iran’s nuclear program fail.

Salman assumed the throne in January after King Abdullah’s death.

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