Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saudi Arabia Gives US an Ultimatum

Prince Turki al Faisal, an influential member of the Saudi royal family and godfather of the Saudi security establishment, has issued an ultimatum to United States President Barack Obama: if America blocks UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, Saudia Arabia will be forced to defect from its position as the USA’s key foriegn policy tool among the Arab countries.

He made the statement in public, in an opinion piece published by the New York Times on 11th September. The article was entitled: ‘Veto a [Palestinian] State, Lose an Ally.’

Prince Turki al Faisal plainly threatened the United States that the Saudi regime will no longer be able to do America’s bidding in the Middle East without being seen as able to extract immediate concessions on behalf of the Palestinians, against the wishes of the Israeli occupiers.

Describing US influence over the region as lacking credibility, declining and increasingly toxic, the prince wrote:
The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has. With most of the Arab world in upheaval, the “special relationship” between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims, who demand justice for the Palestinian people.
Saudi leaders would be forced by domestic and regional pressures to adopt a far more independent and assertive foreign policy. 

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