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.

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