As recently as Friday, the White House said that King Salman would be coming to “resume consultations on a wide range of regional and bilateral issues,” according to Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman.
But on Sunday, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said that the king would instead send Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the defense minister. The agency said the summit meeting would overlap with a five-day cease-fire in Yemen that is scheduled to start on Tuesday to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Arab officials said they viewed the king’s failure to attend the meeting as a sign of disappointment with what the White House was willing to offer at the summit meeting as reassurance that the United States would back its Arab allies against a rising Iran…
Mr. Alterman added: “For the White House though, it sends an unmistakable signal when a close partner essentially says he has better things to do than go to Camp David with the president, just a few days after the White House announced he’d have a private meeting before everything got underway.”