White House debunks Obama bowing before Saudi monarch myth

April 9th, 2009 - 2:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Apr 9 (ANI): The White House has denied that President Barack Obama bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets.

The photographs show that Obama at least stooped significantly before the 84-year-old Saudi monarch. The Right wing back home has criticised and disapproved Obama’s action.

“It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah,” Politico.com quoted an Obama aide, as saying.

The Washington Times called the alleged bow a “shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate,” and said it violated centuries of American tradition of not deferring to royalty.

The Weekly Standard, meanwhile, noted that American protocol apparently rules out bowing, or at least it reportedly did on the occasion of a Bill Clinton “near-bow” to the emperor of Japan.

Interestingly, a columnist in the Saudi-backed Arabic paper Asharq Alawsat also took the gesture as a bow and appreciated the move.

“Obama wished to demonstrate his respect and appreciation of the personality of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, who has made one of the most important calls in the modern era, namely the call for inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue to defuse the hatred, conflict and wars,” wrote the columnist, Muhammah Diyab.

The video shows Obama dipping toward the king as G-20 leaders greet one another at the ExCel Centre in London. (ANI)

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