Did Obama bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London? See the video for yourself.
Either he lost something on the floor and was looking for it or I guess he could have been admiring the King’s shoes. He definitely holds the bow for a good couple of seconds.
Now the White House is denying that the president bowed to the King. Ben Smith of the Politico reported the following:
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 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.