Was it a bow or just good manners? The blogosphere is bursting with debate over whether President Obama diminished his stature by appearing to bow to the King of Saudi Arabia at the G20 summit. As for the Saudis, the act was just another reflection of President Obama’s well-earned respect.
According to this op-ed article from Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh newspaper, Obama’s act of respect to someone older than he reflects not only his policy of breaking with the prior administration’s ‘pattern of diplomatic false pride,’ it shows that he is worthy of leading the greatest nation on earth.
“He has shown a sense of national duty that reflects the true image of America – an America that seeks to settle its differences with the world and develop cooperation and partnership without arrogance and talk of the use of force.”
“His diplomacy is an attempt to bring people together and provide transparency to diplomacy, rather than seeing the world as hostile until proven otherwise, or accepting as friends and allies only those who are blind and frightened followers. … Perhaps the bow at his meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, was incorrectly explained, but the act did nothing to diminish his standing as president of the most important nation.”
By Yusuf Al Kuwayleet
Translated By Nicolas Dagher
April 7, 2009
Saudi Arabia – Al Riyadh – Original Article (Arabic)
Barack Obama is a new American phenomenon. He hasn’t violated or failed to abide by even a single protocol. Not overwhelmed by pride over post World War II America or its global dominance after the demise of the Soviet Union, he is the new face. He has shown a sense of national duty that reflects the true image of America – an America that seeks to settle its differences with the world and develop cooperation and partnership without arrogance and talk of the use of force. We have seen this in the renewal of Europe’s alliance with the superpower, the nurturing of ties with Asia and the Islamic World, and the pride felt in Africa over the character of a man of their race, who has reached the most powerful position in the world. All of these qualities have won President Obama admiration, rather than the suspicion that destroyed America’s reputation during the two terms of Bush the younger.
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