Where In The World Is Barack™: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The White House Blog Updates AND West Wing Week.


By Jueseppi B.



President’s Schedule – March 28th, 2014


Office of the Press Secretary
March 28th, 2014


FRIDAY, MARCH 28th, 2014


In the morning, the President will depart Rome, Italy en route Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The President’s departure from the Fiumicino Airport is open press. The President’s arrival at the King Khalid International Airport is pooled press.


In the evening, the President arrives to the Rawdat Khuraim and participates in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There will be travel pool coverage of the President’s arrival and a pool spray at the top of the bilateral meeting.


The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.



Friday, March 28 2014 All Times ET


On Friday, the President will travel from Rome, Italy to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.


10:10 AM: The President arrives Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Local Event Time: 5:10 PM ASTKing Khalid International Airport – Riyadh – Saudi Arabia.


10:55 AM: The President arrives and is greeted by the Saudi delegation. Local Event Time: 5:55 PM AST, Rawdat Khuraim.


11:00 AM: The President participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah, Local Event Time: 6:00 PM AST, Rawdat Khuraim.



Raw: Obama Arrives in Saudi Arabia


Published on Mar 28, 2014

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President Barack Obama paid a visit to the desert oasis of wary ally King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, hoping to reassure the aging monarch who is nervously watching Washington’s negotiations with Iran and other U.S. policy in the Middle East. (March 28)




Barack Leaving Italy....

Barack Leaving Italy….

Marine helicopters carry President Barack Obama and his delegation for a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat al-Khraim (Desert Camp) near Riyadh

Marine helicopters carry President Barack Obama and his delegation for a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat al-Khraim (Desert Camp) near Riyadh

President Obama is welcomed by Governor of Riyadh Prince Khalid Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud on arriving in Riyadh

President Obama is welcomed by Governor of Riyadh Prince Khalid Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud on arriving in Riyadh


Walking That Barack Swag On "The Red Carpet."

Walking That Barack Swag On “The Red Carpet.”

President Obama meets with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim

President Obama meets with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim

THIS is how Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim does it in the desert.

THIS is how Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim does it in the desert.



FACT SHEET: United States-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Relationship


In his meetings with King Abdullah in Riyadh, President Obama reiterated the significance the United States places on its strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has endured for over 80 years.  The United States and Saudi Arabia are working together to address a number of critical bilateral and regional issues, including resolving the crisis in Syria, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, counterterrorism efforts to combat extremism, and supporting negotiations to achieve Middle East peace.


Defense Cooperation:  U.S. and Saudi defense forces enjoy outstanding partnerships and regularly participate in joint exercises to advance shared interests in Gulf security.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer, with active and open cases valued at approximately $97 billion, as Saudi forces build capabilities across the full spectrum of regional challenges.  The United States and Saudi Arabia currently are enhancing partnerships on critical infrastructure and border security, including on the Interior Ministry’s multi-billion dollar initiative to enhance land and coastal border defenses.


Counterterrorism:  Saudi Arabia has been a strong U.S. counterterrorism (CT) partner, particularly on disrupting Al Qaeda (AQ) elements.  We work closely with Saudi authorities on a range of CT issues, including countering terrorist financing (CTF), and the United States and Saudi Arabia work together to help various nations in the region counter shared terrorist threats.


Bilateral Trade and Investment:  U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia exceeded $35 billion in 2013, including direct exports of $19 billion (a 76 percent increase since 2009) and roughly $2 billion in service exports (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction; Design; Financial; and Legal).  Indirect exports and other goods and services were valued at an additional $15 billion.  The bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement provides a forum for the United States and Saudi Arabia to explore ways to advance economic relations.  Among other successes, Saudi Arabia has followed up on its commitment to improve its intellectual property rights regime since being removed from the United States Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List in 2010.  Continual improvements in its intellectual property rights regime facilitate the Kingdom’s efforts to develop a diversified knowledge economy and improve the investment climate for U.S. businesses.


Energy Cooperation:  As U.S. oil and gas production increases, and as Saudi Arabia works to diversify its energy mix and improve energy efficiency, our longstanding bilateral cooperation on energy issues is getting stronger, not just on conventional energy market issues, but also energy efficiency, renewable and other alternative energy sources, and science and technology research.  For example, Saudi Arabia is working with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on measuring its solar energy resources.  The Saudis are also working with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others on developing energy efficiency for the Kingdom, including automotive fuel economy standards.  The United States and Saudi Arabia hold an annual Bilateral Energy Dialogue to explore broader energy cooperation, including potential cooperation on advanced geothermal research and other issues relating to alternative energies.


Educational Programs:  There are more Saudi students in the United States now than ever before, with approximately 80,000 Saudi students in the United States representing Saudi Arabia’s future political, business, and social leadership.  U.S. education and the American experience help to shape Saudi Arabia’s future workplace and national outlook and will encourage new perspectives on diversity, tolerance, and global affairs.


Citizen Exchanges:  The United States and Saudi Arabia have a decades-long history of citizen exchanges.  International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP) focus on interfaith dialogue, volunteerism, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, and public health issues.  A number of American Fulbright scholars are working with Saudi higher education institutions to develop and strengthen their graduate curricula and offer new academic majors.  Several thousand Saudis have participated in citizen exchange programs over the past several decades.


Science and Technology Cooperation:  In keeping with its interest in developing knowledge-based industries, Saudi Arabia has significantly expanded its scientific research and technological development.  Under the U.S.-Saudi Science and Technology Agreement, signed in 2008, the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) is currently working with NASA on several projects including the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and space geodesy and geodynamics research.  KACST also collaborates with numerous U.S. universities and is exploring collaborative programs with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Energy on projects important to both of our countries, including dust storm monitoring, seismic imaging of the Earth’s crust, and solar energy.


Environmental Programs:  Saudi Arabia joined the Global Methane Initiative in January 2014, providing a vehicle for enhanced cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas.  The Department of Energy, through an MOU signed in 2010, and the EPA are also working to enhance cooperation with the Kingdom on research and application of carbon capture, use, and storage.


Health Cooperation Programs:  The United States and Saudi Arabia have been close partners in health cooperation for over three decades.  Currently, a number of U.S. scientists have collaborative National Institutes of Health grants with Saudi partners.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a long history with the Saudi Ministry of Health and Saudi Arabian National Guard Health Affairs; both have hosted CDC experts for one to two year stints and work with the CDC on infectious disease surveillance during the yearly Hajj pilgrimage.  CDC also works closely with Saudi Arabia on a range of issues including smoking cessation, breast cancer awareness, control and prevention of diabetes and heart disease, and epidemiology and surveillance of infectious diseases.




  • President Obama participates in a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



  • President Obama meets with employees and family members of the U.S. embassy










West Wing Week 03/28/14 or, “The 2014 European Edition”


Published on Mar 28, 2014

Welcome to a special, travel edition of the West Wing Week. The President spent this whirlwind week working in Europe, where he attended the third, biennial Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, traveled to Brussels for an EU-US Summit, and then on to Rome, where he met with His High Holiness Pope Francis.







Statements and Releases – March 28, 2014/March 27, 2014



Statement by the Press Secretary on the Selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the Next NATO Secretary General


We welcome the selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as NATO’s next Secretary General, beginning October 1, 2014.  Mr. Stoltenberg is a proven leader with a demonstrated commitment to the transatlantic Alliance.  As Prime Minister, he built Norway’s military capabilities and actively contributed to NATO operations and political dialogue.  We are confident he is the best person to ensure the continued strength and unity of the NATO Alliance.


We also are grateful for the service of current NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and will rely on his expertise to bring the Alliance through the NATO Summit in September.  Secretary General Rasmussen has been an exceptional leader at an extraordinary time.  His vision and dedication have strengthened the Alliance’s strategic direction and focus on ways to bolster defense capabilities while reinforcing the commitments and values underpinning it.  From preparing for NATO’s transition in Afghanistan, to seeing us through the intervention in Libya, and – now – to providing strong leadership in the face of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Secretary General Rasmussen has been a steadfast partner and a trusted friend of the United States throughout his tenure.  We know that Mr. Stoltenberg will prove the same.



FACT SHEET: Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions


A Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions



In June 2013, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University where he laid out both the case for action on climate change and the steps his Administration will take to address it. The Climate Action Plan that the President announced includes steps to cut carbon pollution, help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that are already on the way, and continue American leadership in international efforts to combat global climate change.


In his Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Administration to develop a comprehensive, interagency strategy to cut methane emissions. Today, the White House released the Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions. Learn more about the strategy in the fact sheet below, and check out the full Strategy here.






Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on UN Human Rights Council Vote on Sri Lanka


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts






Supreme Court Decision in U.S. v. Castleman Will Save Women’s Lives



This week, the Supreme Court decided a case that will save women’s lives.


Back in 1996, Congress made it a crime for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to possess a gun. As Vice President Biden has often noted, there is a direct connection between gun violence and domestic violence: when a domestic abuser has a gun, a victim is 12 times more likely to die than when he doesn’t.


Some courts, however, have set a high bar for what counts as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” – which has meant that many domestic abusers have been allowed to keep their guns.


But in United States v. Castleman (written by Justice Sotomayor), the Court changed all that. It recognized that domestic violence is a unique kind of crime that doesn’t always fit everyone’s idea of what’s “violent”: often, it can involve pushing, grabbing, shoving, scratching, or hair pulling – and which, over time, can “subject one intimate partner to the other’s control.” The Court also recognized that, in a number of states, these acts are prosecuted as crimes of “offensive touching” – which, before this week, meant some courts didn’t consider them to be domestic violence. But now, according to the Court, that’s enough to subject a convicted domestic abuser to the federal gun ban.


This is a landmark opinion. As so many abused women know, what happens to them is a far cry from “offensive touching.” It is terrifying and debilitating, and can rob her of all manner of trust, security, and hope. It can make her – as the Vice President has also said – a prisoner in her own home. But at least now, the law recognizes that those who are convicted of these crimes have no business having a gun.





President Obama: We need “Russia to move back those troops”


Published on Mar 28, 2014

In an interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, President Obama spoke about the steps Russia must take to reduce tensions over Ukraine.




Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

The United States welcomes the preliminary agreement between the Government of Ukraine and International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff on a loan program of $14-18 billion.  This represents a powerful sign of support from the international community for the Ukrainian government, as we help them stabilize and grow their economy, and move their democracy forward.  The agreement is expected to unlock roughly $27 billion in total support from the international community for Ukraine’s people over the next two years, as the country implements historic reforms to address long-standing problems that have undermined Ukraine’s economic strength and prosperity.  It is important now for both the Government of Ukraine and the IMF to move expeditiously and complete the steps necessary to gain approval from the IMF Executive Board.

Together with our allies and partners, President Obama will continue to build international support for the Ukrainian people at this critical time.  The IMF program will be a central component of a package of assistance to support Ukraine as it implements reforms and conducts free and fair elections that will allow all the Ukrainian people to determine the future of their country.  We are working alongside international partners, including the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to disburse rapid additional assistance to complement the IMF program and ease Ukraine’s economic transition, particularly for the most vulnerable.  As part of this international effort, we are working with Congress to quickly provide a $1 billion loan guarantee and are offering technical and financial assistance to help Ukraine meet its most pressing needs.  We also remain committed to providing the IMF with the resources it needs – in partnership with Congress – to provide strong support to countries like Ukraine as well as reinforcing the Fund’s governance to reflect the global economy.




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2 replies »

  1. Where is Barack? To put in in ancient terms… Barack is all over the world like ugly on an ape! I have no clue how he gets so much done and still looks like he’s cool under the collar.😉


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