Biden talks to Saudi king, stresses human rights and rule of law: White House

U.S. President Biden participates in an event on state of U.S. coronavirus vaccinations at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Thursday, stressing the importance of human rights and vowing to make the relationship between the two countries stronger and more transparent, the White House said.

Biden "affirmed the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of law," and the two leaders discussed the U.S. commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend itself against attacks by Iran-aligned groups, the White House said.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Doina Chiacu)