USA: Saudi King skips meeting with Obama

Gulf countries also absent from meeting. Nyt, snub about Iran

11 May, 13:38

    (ANSAmed) - NEW YORK, MAY 11 - The king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, will not be present at a scheduled meeting at the White House with American President Barack Obama, nor will he attend a Camp David summit with other Gulf leaders, the Saudi Press Agency reported adding that the Kingdom will be represented by crown prince, Mohammad bin Nayef and deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salam.

    According to the Saudi outlet, the decision was motivated by an overlap with the five-day cease-fire in Yemen, set to begin on Tuesday.

    The absence of the Saudi King is a "signal of his displeasure towards the US-Iran relationship" wrote the New York Times, according to which, King Salman will call Obama in the next few hours to talk about his decision not to attend the meeting.

    The White House announced the meeting between the Saudi monarch and Obama, on Friday, but a few hours later, the Saudi foreign minister informed Washington that the king would not be present.

    According to a US administration source, the Saudis "did not signal any disappointment. If someone intends to snub you, he can do it in many ways". Arab sources, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, tie the king's absence to the lack of progress in bridging differences over the issues of Iran and Syria.(ANSAmed).

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