The meeting also served to further the Obama administration's efforts to build consensus and cooperation among moderate Muslim nations to work together to pressure Iran to stop their uranium enrichment program.
Later this week, Obama travels to Germany and France, his second trip to Europe as president.
On Friday, the president is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Merkel and visit the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, which his great-uncle helped liberate in World War II.
The visit will "underscore the tragedy of the Holocaust, and will recognize the work of so many people who stopped that, including his own uncle," McDonough said.
Later that day, Obama is scheduled to visit American servicemembers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
On Saturday, Obama plans to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion with remarks at Normandy and a tour of the American Cemetery there. The president is expected to recognize the service of American veterans who will be in the audience for his speech and underscore the sacred trust the government has to veterans.
Also on the agenda is a meeting with French President Nikolas Sarkozy.
ABC News' Sunlen Miller contributed to this report.