Saudi king sending crown prince to summit with Obama

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (L) arrives with his uncle King Salman (R) to greet U.S. President Barack Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi King Salman has designated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef to attend a Gulf Arab summit with U.S. President Barack Obama in his place, the Saudi foreign minister said, the state news agency, SPA, said on Sunday.

The minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said the summit coincides with the start of a five-day humanitarian truce in Yemen and the opening of a humanitarian relief center that carries the Saudi monarch's name, SPA said.

The summit will include all of the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Thursday. It will begin at the White House and then continue at Camp David.

Possible arms purchases may also be concluded at the summit with Kuwait purportedly seeking the purchase of 28 Boeing Co F/A-18E/F Super Hornet advanced fighter jets, valued at over $3 billion.

A U.S. source said last week that Obama was expected to make a renewed U.S. push at the summit to help Gulf allies create a region-wide defense system to guard against Iranian missiles as he seeks to allay their anxieties over the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Other issues to be discussed at the summit will include Iran’s nuclear program and developments in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

(With Reuters)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47