This is why Obama should not meet the new Saudi king

Originally posted on Quartz:

This coming week, Barack Obama is to cut short a trip to India to visit the new ruler of Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah last week. That the American president is so keen to abandon a fast-growing and important ally to visit the dementia-struck 79-year-old leader of an old one shows what sway the House of Saud still has over US foreign policy.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Amnesty International, British politicians angry at the Union Jack being flown at half-mast for Abdullah, and The Economist are just a few of those have called on Western politicians to rethink their close relationship with the conservative kingdom. Here are a few reasons why Obama should reconsider his trip to meet King Salman.

The human-rights record

Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, was flogged 50 times on Jan. 9 in front of mosque in Jeddah—part of a sentence of 10 years in prison and…

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