Former diplomats and political observers are speaking out about what they view as a highly embarrassing snub of President Joe Biden this week.
According to reports, several world leaders are planning to skip the Summit of the Americans, leading critics to speculate that they don’t take the US president very seriously.
“Disaster on the world stage for Joe Biden – Saudi Arabia, Israel and now Mexico all snub Biden within the last 24 hours alone,” tweeted former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who was an ambassador to Germany.
“They all see what we see,” he added.
In reporting on the summit, Politico noted in a tweet with a link to the outlet’s story: “As President Joe Biden prepares to host the Summit of the Americas, expectations are low that he’ll deliver. He has no serious trade deals to offer and migration remains unresolved.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed on Monday that he won’t attend the summit, which is scheduled to begin this week, a decision that comes as perhaps the largest migrant convoy thus far is making its way through his country to the US border, in anticipation of Title 42 ending.
“The event is hosted by President Joe Biden and will in part focus on the migration crisis,” the Daily Caller reported.
“Lopez Obrador previously threatened to boycott the event if the Biden administration excluded Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, added Reuters.”
“López Obrador had been leading a chorus of mostly leftist leaders pushing the U.S. to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the gathering taking place on US soil for the first time since 1994,” the AP reported regarding the snub by Mexico. “Other leaders, including from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — three big drivers of migration to the US — have indicated they’ll stay away too.”
Argentina also suggested it would support Lopez Obrador’s move, the AP reported. The incident prompted phone calls from both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, aimed at ensuring a high turnout.
“There cannot be a summit if all countries are not invited,” López Obrador told reporters on Monday. “Or there can be one, but that is to continue with all politics of interventionism.”
Instead, ‘AMLO’ is sending the Mexican foreign minister in his stead.
NBC News quoted a foreign diplomat and two U.S. officials who said Biden’s visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel will not occur this month, as was expected. Both of those visits were initially scheduled to take place at the end of Biden’s trips to Germany and Spain in June. The White House said the Middle East visits will now happen at a later date.
“We are working on a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia for a GCC+3 Summit,” a senior administration official told NBC News. “We are working to confirm dates. When we have something to announce, we will.”
NBC News added:
The reason for the delay wasn’t immediately clear. The foreign diplomat and two officials said they learned of the postponed travel plans on Friday. The U.S. officials added that the dates remained in flux and could change again.
The White House declined to comment on the travel itinerary. The Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington didn’t immediately respond to inquiries late Friday.
The president’s plans to visit the Saudis came under immediate scrutiny over the country’s record of human rights and what Biden himself said about the oil-rich nation on the campaign trail, where he pledged to treat the country as a “pariah” following the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
“The CIA concluded in 2018 that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, had ordered Khashoggi’s killing. The crown prince has denied any personal involvement in his death,” NBC News added.
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