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US House speaker holds talks with Saudi king

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Riyadh (AFP)

The speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan held talks with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on Wednesday on the first leg of a Gulf tour.

They discussed "bilateral cooperation" between the longtime allies, the official Saudi Press Agency reported without elaborating.

Relations between Riyadh and Washington frayed under the administration of Barack Obama after the US joined other major powers in agreeing a landmark nuclear deal with the kingdom's arch foe Iran in 2015.

But they have improved markedly since President Donald Trump took office last year with a much tougher policy towards Iran that has seen his administration demand revisions that the other parties to the deal warn will torpedo it.

On Thursday, Ryan is due to travel on to Abu Dhabi for talks with leaders of close Saudi ally the United Arab Emirates.

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