24 Jan 2009

Obama discusses Gaza with Saudi ruler

1:14 pm on 24 January 2009

President Barack Obama on Friday asked Saudi King Abdullah for support in halting weapons smuggling into Gaza.

The White House said Mr Obama asked for Saudi support for efforts to stop the smuggling and expressed interest in continuing counter-terrorism cooperation.

Israel ended a 22-day campaign against Hamas in Gaza last Sunday. Its stated aim was to end rocket attacks by Hamas into southern Israel.

Mr Obama discussed the situation in Gaza with British prime minister Gordon Brown on Friday. The White House says they also talked about the need to make the Afghan conflict a top priority.

Mr Obama named former Senator George Mitchell as his envoy for the Middle East conflict on Thursday and vowed to aggressively pursue peace.

The president also spoke to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper on Friday. He plans to travel to Canada for his first foreign trip.