Photo Credit: Screenshot
Saudi King Salman with President Obama (L.)

The White House denied reports that the fact that Saudi King Salman failed to greet President Barack Obama at the airport, after greeting Gulf State representatives just before Obama landed, meant US-Saudi relations are in a crisis. Administration officials are insisting the president and the king “really cleared the air” in their Wednesday meeting afterwards.

When he arrived, the president was greeted at the airport by the governor of Riyadh, and the event was ignored by Saudi TV. That same day, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and senior officials were seen on state TV greeting the leaders of neighboring Gulf states who were arriving for Thursday’s summit of the Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation council, which Obama will address.

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Eventually, King Salman did greet Obama in the al-Auja palace, where they posed for a photo-op, where they said, “The American people send their greetings and we are very grateful for your hospitality, not just for this meeting but for hosting the GCC-US summit that’s taking place tomorrow,” and, “I and the Saudi people are very pleased that you, Mr. President, are visiting us.”

In the background of this obvious rude treatment of Obama is the Congressional bill allowing lawsuits against the Saudi government in American courts for the Sept. 11, 2001 crimes against humanity. The Saudis are threatening to sell their US assets if Obama signs that bill into law, making the kingdom liable for multiple billions of dollars in damages from the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Former Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Turki Al-Faisal told CNN his country plans “a recalibration of our relationship with America. How far we can go with our dependence on America, how much can we rely on steadfastness from American leadership, what is it that makes for our joint benefits to come together.”

Out of the 19 hijackers of the 9/11 attacks, 15 were Saudis. The Saudis sponsored the Taliban in Afghanistan (although, to be fair, the CIA started training mostly Saudi extremists to fight the Soviets there). It is highly probable that ISIS, too, receives financial support from elements in Saudi Arabia.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I think that the Saudi King threatening to destroy the American economy buy a rock bottom en masse sell off of one trillion dollars worth of the kingdom’s assets in the United States is fairly conclusive that this was a snub, and the Saudis are worried both about Congress and about the Obama Administration which they see as having sold them out also over Iran’s nuclear deal. Well, they’re all despots together, aren’t they?

  2. Israel needs to learn fro the Arabs. Treat Obama as a worm that he is, and he will fear you and come running. Golda Meier understood this, and although the US and Europe may not have liked her, they feared her and Israel and she got what was needed.

  3. The issue at point is Sovereign Immunity. Under international law, countries are normally immune from legal proceedings in another state. The 9/11 families are seeking to sue the government of Saudi for the actions of its citizens, not those of its government. If US law is rewritten to allow this the US government would subject to suit for the acts of its citizens worldwide!

  4. The plot to the towers of the World Trade Center was made from the Saudi Monarchy using the poor Taliban goverment of Afghanistan as scapegoat, if the US goverment had attacked Saudi Arabia becouse the 9/11 attacks could be another hystory what we have today in the Midle East.

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