Arab Leaders ➠ Upset Over Iran Deal ➠ Snub Obama
One of the unhappy truths of life is that you can get a pretty good idea of your power and popularity by the number of invited—even more so, uninvited—guests who show up at your personal party.
The same might be said of international diplomatic meetings.
So you can imagine how Team Obama must feel about the news that this week’s U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council summit held at the White House and Camp David would be sparsely attended by the invited heads of state.
“Sparsely” may be putting it generously.
Indeed, it’s been reported that only two of six leaders of the Gulf council’s member nations—which include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar—attended the prez’s confab to discuss security matters, including possible defense cooperation and arms sales.
Only Qatar and Kuwait are sending their heads of state.
That level of RSVP is especially curious since a POTUS “party” is usually one of the most sought-after, “A-list,” gold-embossed-envelope invites, whether at home or abroad.
Or at least it was.
Some of the Gulf leaders have made their excuses—all entirely plausible, of course—such as health concerns or pressing issues at home, and have made plans to send senior subordinates to the meeting.
As the most powerful of the invitees, the absence of new Saudi King Salman is particularly conspicuous.
His representatives said he needs to be in Riyadh during a five-day cease-fire in the Saudi-led war in Yemen; in his stead, he has dispatched his No. 2, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also interior minister, as well as the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defense minister. More