Obama's Gulf Summit collapsing (along with Arab support for his Iran negotiations)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman delivered a slap in the face of President Obama when the state-run Saudi press agency announced late yesterday that the King had better things to do than coming to Camp David for a retreat with President Obama and other Gulf monarchs. The meeting, which is planned to start Thursday, was to have included face-to-face talks between President Obama and the King.  As Helene Cooper of the New York Times reports, just last Friday the White House had confidently announced that the two leaders would “resume consultations on a wide range of regional and bilateral issues.”

This is an unmistakable and very public rebuke of President Obama. In place of the monarch, Saudi interior minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and defense minister Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will attend. This makes the move one step short of a boycott, but rather a symbolic and potent protest over the direction of US Iran policy.  The Saudis, who regard a nuclear Iran as a mortal threat to their regime (and all of Sunni Islam), are in effect voting bno confidence in the extended surrender of sanctions in return for vague non-commitments to measures that will not prevent the mullahs from getting their nuclear weapons.

And Saudi Arabia does not stand alone. The AP reports that most other Gulf Monarchs will not be attending:

The tiny island kingdom of Bahrain said separately that its delegation would be headed by the country's crown prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. (snip)

The sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said, is among those staying away. The sultanate will be represented instead by the deputy prime minister, Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, and other officials, the country's official news agency announced. (snip)

Health issues are also expected to keep the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from attending. He suffered a stroke in January last year and has not been seen publicly since.

However, two Gulf monarchs are still planning to attend:

Among those who will be at the summit is the Kuwaiti emir, Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. He arrived at Andrews Air Force Base on Monday, the official Kuwait News Agency reported.

Also, Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is scheduled to depart Monday to take part in the meeting.

The Saudi monarch has just announced to the world that his nation, which has a direct stake in the outcome of the Iran talks, does not have any faith in the policies of President Obama.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman delivered a slap in the face of President Obama when the state-run Saudi press agency announced late yesterday that the King had better things to do than coming to Camp David for a retreat with President Obama and other Gulf monarchs. The meeting, which is planned to start Thursday, was to have included face-to-face talks between President Obama and the King.  As Helene Cooper of the New York Times reports, just last Friday the White House had confidently announced that the two leaders would “resume consultations on a wide range of regional and bilateral issues.”

This is an unmistakable and very public rebuke of President Obama. In place of the monarch, Saudi interior minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and defense minister Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will attend. This makes the move one step short of a boycott, but rather a symbolic and potent protest over the direction of US Iran policy.  The Saudis, who regard a nuclear Iran as a mortal threat to their regime (and all of Sunni Islam), are in effect voting bno confidence in the extended surrender of sanctions in return for vague non-commitments to measures that will not prevent the mullahs from getting their nuclear weapons.

And Saudi Arabia does not stand alone. The AP reports that most other Gulf Monarchs will not be attending:

The tiny island kingdom of Bahrain said separately that its delegation would be headed by the country's crown prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. (snip)

The sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said, is among those staying away. The sultanate will be represented instead by the deputy prime minister, Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, and other officials, the country's official news agency announced. (snip)

Health issues are also expected to keep the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from attending. He suffered a stroke in January last year and has not been seen publicly since.

However, two Gulf monarchs are still planning to attend:

Among those who will be at the summit is the Kuwaiti emir, Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. He arrived at Andrews Air Force Base on Monday, the official Kuwait News Agency reported.

Also, Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is scheduled to depart Monday to take part in the meeting.

The Saudi monarch has just announced to the world that his nation, which has a direct stake in the outcome of the Iran talks, does not have any faith in the policies of President Obama.