The Obama Administration was left somewhat red-faced when all but two Gulf State leaders turned down his invitation to visit Camp David this Thursday and discuss the nuclear deal being negotiated between Iran and America.
Washington had hoped to use the gathering to assuage mounting Arab concerns that the US and its Western allies were being duped into giving Iran exactly what it wants, while failing to adequately ensure the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is halted.
It was a prestigious invitation that nevertheless met with what some commentators are calling a subtle, but scornful rebuff. Only the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar will be in attendance, while other states, including regional power Saudi Arabia, will instead send deputies to meet the American president.
The message was clear for those paying attention over the past several months: the Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia don’t trust the American agenda or ability to effectively negotiate vis-a-vis Iran.
So disillusioned are many in the Arab world that leading voices went so far as to openly support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech before the US Congress in protest over the intended Iran nuclear deal.