- The White House is denying that the president 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.
- "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands,
and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity.
- 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 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
- "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.