Four Arab leaders cancel meeting with President Obama

Four Arab leaders have called off their upcoming meeting with US President Barack Obama amid the Persian Gulf states’ escalating tensions with Washington.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman would not meet with Obama in Washington this week, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would instead send Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the defense minister.

The announcement was made after Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, said on Friday that King Salman would be coming to “resume consultations on a wide range of regional and bilateral issues.”

There was “no expression of disappointment” from the Saudis; New York Times quoted a senior Obama administration official as saying on Sunday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said when the king met Secretary of State John Kerry in Riyadh last week, he indicated that he was looking forward to coming to the meeting.

“If one wants to snub you, they let you know it in different ways,” said the official.

He said King Salman is expected to call Obama on Monday to talk about his last-minute decision not to attend the summit.

Along with the Saudi king, the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain have also cancelled the Washington trip. Only the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait would be present at the meeting and the other countries would send their deputies.

President Obama was scheduled to meet with the Arab leaders at the White House on May 13 and at Camp David, Maryland, on May 14.

They were expected to discuss nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries — the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany — and the crisis in Syria and Yemen.

By Press TV