Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, walks into the West Wing of the White House in Washington escorted by Deputy Chief of Protocol Mark E. Walsh, right, Friday, June 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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U.S. President Barack Obama hosted youthful Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House Friday, underscoring his guest's meteoric rise and increasingly pivotal role in managing strained U.S.-Saudi ties.Prince Mohammed's meeting with Obama took place in the Oval Office – a rare honor for a non-head of state, one not afforded to the Dalai Lama earlier in the week.The meeting came amid strained ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia over Iran, the war in Yemen and the seemingly imminent release of a U.S. dossier about Saudi Arabian links to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.The meeting also addressed another of Prince Mohammed's signature policies – Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, which has been a point of deep contention between the White House and the royal court.Obama's administration has been repeatedly embarrassed by the killing of civilians and worried that while the war has dragged on, Al-Qaeda has been allowed to grow.
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