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    U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at the start of a bilateral meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh January 27, 2015.

    White House Says US Should Not Tell Other Countries What to Do

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    US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes commented on the possible discussion on human rights violations between US President Barack Obama and the newly enthroned Saudi King Salman, saying that it is not simply a matter of the United States telling other countries what they should do.

    U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman (R) after arriving in Riyadh January 27, 2015.
    © REUTERS/ Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters
    WASHINGTON, January 27 (Sputnik) — Pointing out to other countries what to do is not in the realm of the US, US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said on Tuesday, commenting on the possible discussion on human rights violations between US President Barack Obama and the newly enthroned Saudi King Salman.

    “I think what the President [Obama] would say is that it is not simply a matter of the United States telling other countries what they should do,” Rhodes said when asked if the issue of human rights violations would be raised at the top-level meeting.

    Rhodes added that it is obvious that “different countries” are in “very different places” in terms of their embrace of human rights and freedoms.

    “What we would say to all of our partners around the world is that we fundamentally believe in a set of values to include equality for women and religious freedom and tolerance…It is frankly a fact that societies are more successful when they respect those types of universal values,” Rhodes underscored.

    Human rights violations in Saudi Arabia is a frequent concern of the media and human rights activists. In January, the founder of the Monitor of Human Rights group Abu al-Khair received a five-year extension to his ten-year prison sentence for insulting the Saudi judicial system and harming the kingdom’s reputation. His brother-in-law Raif Bawadi, a Saudi atheist and rights blogger, has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for cybercrime.

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    talks, Salman bin Abdulaziz, Ben Rhodes, United States, Saudi Arabia
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