The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol slammed the Obama administration Monday after Saudi Arabia announced King Salman will not be attending the White House’s upcoming summit of Arab states at Camp David.
In an interview with NewsmaxTV’s Steve Malzberg, Kristol called the move “extraordinary,” adding that the snub “shows a lack of respect.” He added that this kind of move has ripples across the international community, pointing out that Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently showing reservations over meeting Secretary of State John Kerry during his trip to Sochi.
“It’s pretty extraordinary,” Kristol started. “I mean, for a president to convene a group at Camp David — and obviously those things are arranged in advance. It’s not like there are any real scheduling conflicts, and for the king of a real major ally to choose not to come — I don’t have a very high opinion of the Saudi’s ordinarily. It’s not defending them or siding with them…just to say, objectively, this shows a lack of respect, a lack of sense that they need to take President Obama or, frankly, they even want to hear what he has to say, they’re so upset about the Iran deal.”
“I guess they just announced this a couple hours ago…but Secretary Kerry is going to Sochi, to Russia and had expected — they announced yesterday when they announced the trip that he was going to meet with [Vladimir] Putin,” Kristol said. “And now Putin’s saying, ‘well maybe I’ll just send my foreign minister.’ So, you know, these kinds of things are stupid on one levels and who cares, it’s just diplomacy, but people around the world see this.”
“It has a real effect on America’s standing and other people decide, ‘Geez, I mean, if these countries don’t think much of Obama, I guess we don’t have to take his word very seriously,’ and our enemies get emboldened and our friends get demoralized,” Kristol said.