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President Barack Obama and the First Lady will travel to Saudi Arabia to pay respects following the death of King Abdullah, the White House said early Saturday.

Obama will cut short an official trip to India and will fly to Riyadh on Tuesday to meet the new King Salman, spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

Vice President Joe Biden, who had been due to fly to Saudi Arabia, “will remain in Washington” the statement said.

The change means Obama will skip plans to see the Taj Mahal, the white marble monument of love. Pradeep Bhatnagar, a top state official based in the city of Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, told The Associated Press.

While the Saudi king's simple funeral was held early Friday in accordance with Islamic tradition, the country will remain in mourning for three days.


- Alastair Jamieson and Michelle Cho