Saudi King Not Attending Gulf Meetings

Saudi Arabia King Salman will not attend important meetings this week in Washington, which apparently signals his discontent over the proposed nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran, a bitter rival of the Kingdom.

King Salman will send instead the interior minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, to the summit to replace him, said the state news agency late Sunday.

Adel al-Jubeir the foreign minister in Saudi Arabia said that King Salman decided to stay in Riyadh so he could focus on the five day Yemen ceasefire that starts on May 12.

Following weeks of Saudi air strikes against Houthi rebels that are allied with Iran, the country has come under heavy pressure to ease back in the country that has become war ravaged.

King Salman recently made trips to other important meetings such as Egypt for the Arab summit in April and he attended the G20 meeting in Australia in November as the crown prince.

President Obama met with Salman in the Saudi capital to pay condolences following the death of King Abdullah last January. Crown Prince Nayef has taken much oversight of the Kingdom’s foreign affairs since Salman replace Prince Saud al-Faisel with Jubeir, the former Ambassador to Washington.

Concerns in the region have been growing over the prospective deal with Iran over the controversial nuclear deal.

This week’s meetings at Camp David were set up to provide Obama with an opportunity to explain the position of the U.S. and repair any frayed relations with the different Gulf States.

Only the Kuwait and Qatar leaders are scheduled to arrive in Washington. The king in Bahrain has deputized its crown prince to lead his delegation.

The leaders in Oman and United Arab Emirates are not well. Arab states, with Saudi in the lead, fear that unwinding the sanctions against Iran will embolden the Islamic Republic to expand its interference with the region with proxies in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

Officials from the West say Riyadh is under the belief that the growing influence of Iran in the troubled Arab states has boosted support in the public for jihadist extremists.

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