Prince Bandar: Riyadh to make 'major shift' in US ties

Prince Bandar: Riyadh to make 'major shift' in US ties
Tue Oct 22, 2013 16:26:48

Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief says the kingdom will make a "major shift" in dealings with the United States in protest to its recent policies to deal with the crisis in Syria and Bahrain and probability of getting closer to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy has said.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Syria crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it was growing closer to Tehran, and it had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed a popular anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if Prince Bandar's reported statements had the full backing of King Abdullah.

"The shift away from the US is a major one," the source close to Saudi policy said.

"Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent," the source added.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the biggest supporters of the war in Syria to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

Riyadh was also in favor of a US-led military strike against the Syrian army which is already fighting with thousands of extremists from all over the world, many of them funded by Saudi Arabia.

A US plan to bomb Syria over conflicting reports of a chemical attack which occurred on August 21, was averted with Russia’s mediation that offered to put Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons under international control.

Contrary to Syria, Saudi regime has been providing military and political support to the Bahraini regime to crack down pro-reform protests that have met violent response from the Al Khalifa regime.

Many human rights organizations have condemned widespread violation of human rights in Bahrain by the ruling royal family since the revolution started in the tiny kingdom in February 2011.

Washington and Tehran raised the possibility of establishing relations after more than 30 years, following a meeting between their officials at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting, earlier this month.

Saudi officials as well as the Israeli regime have been troubled by the idea of US-Iran ties and have been trying to push Washington to put more pressure on Tehran.


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