by Nicole Gaouette, Kevin Liptak and Nic Robertson
(CNN)President Barack Obama received a chilly reception from Saudi Arabia’s leaders as he landed in Riyadh Wednesday, a clear sign of the cooling relations between once-close allies amid regional upheaval and dropping oil prices.
When Obama touched down in Riyadh shortly after 1 p.m. local time, there were no kisses with the kingdom’s ruler as President George W. Bush once exchanged. The Saudi government dispatched the governor of Riyadh rather than a senior-level royal to shake Obama’s hand, a departure from the scene at the airport earlier in the day when King Salman was shown on state television greeting the leaders of other Gulf nations on the tarmac.
Social media users quickly termed the reception, which was not carried live on state TV, a snub and a sign that a relationship long lubricated by barrels of oil is now facing deep questions on both sides.