By Veronica U.-K.
Despite many rumors, don’t disregard the high-profile status of President Obama’s planned summit at Camp David, this week.
Many have seen Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman’s non-attendance as a “snub” caused by Saudi displeasure over the U.S. administration’s Iran policy.
Although leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia will not be attending the meeting–according to Slate’s Joshua Keating–Salman is sending Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. All three men are next in line for the throne.
Yet, the U.S. is hoping to sell skeptical regional allies on its proposed nuclear deal with Iran, over gestures of faith. Strangely, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are at odds, but neither one has even meandered towards criticism of the other. Earlier on, the Saudi Arabia expressed concerns about lifting sanctions on their regional adversary, but has publicly supported the Iran deal.
One Saudi former diplomat tells the New York Times, “Just as the United States is trying to lessen its dependence on Saudi oil, the Saudis are trying to lessen as much as possible their reliance on the American alliance.”
In any case, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states are still demanding a new weapons system in exchange for their support of the Iran deal. For now, no matter whoever shows up to the summit or regardless of what is discussed, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are still stuck with each other.