The White House was scrambling Monday to put a positive face on an upcoming summit of Persian Gulf states after learning leaders from four of the six invited nations are expected to skip.
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While those nations are still sending representatives to the summit being hosted by President Obama later this week at Camp David, the absence of crucial heads of state — notably, Saudi Arabia’s new king — could present an awkward situation for the administration. But State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf rejected the notion this was a “snub,” and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest likewise said the administration is “confident” that Saudi Arabia and other nations will be “ably represented” at the summit.