- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa of Bahrain won’t attend President Obama’s Gulf Arab summit in Washington this week and instead is expected at a London horse show, according to media reports.

King Hamad, along with the heads of Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, skipped Mr. Obama’s meeting and sent representatives in their place., dealing an embarrassing blow to the White House which hoped to project a show of unity with Middle East leaders.

Rather than meet with the president, King Hamad instead will join Queen Elizabeth at a London horse show, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Mr. Obama kicked off the summit Wednesday morning, meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The crown price attended in place of Saudi King Salman.

Despite the apparent snub, Mr. Obama said the two nations remain key partners in the fight against the Islamic State and on other key regional issues.

“We look forward, God willing, to working with you to overcome the challenges and bring about calm and stability to the region,” the president said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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