Saudi Arabia's King Salman has designated his crown prince to attend a Gulf Arab summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama just two days after the White House said the monarch would attend the gathering.
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced on May 10 that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef would head the delegation representing Saudi Arabia at the talks this week.
Jubeir said King Salman deputized the crown prince to attend "due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen, and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid.
News agencies said the announcement could be a signal of Saudi Arabia's displeasure with the U.S. administration over its relations with Iran.
Obama is expected to reassure Arab leaders about an emerging deal between Iran and world powers on Tehran's nuclear program.
The gathering of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman -- is to take place in Washington and at Camp David, Maryland, on May 12-13.
U.S. officials say it will focus on military cooperation and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.