‘Prince Bandar may retake Syria case as intelligence chief’

‘Prince Bandar may retake Syria case as intelligence chief’
Tue Apr 8, 2014 13:07:42

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan will reportedly return to the kingdom within days after spending two months out of the country for treatment.

Unnamed Saudi security officials says the prince would retake his position as intelligence chief and be in charge of dealing with Syria.

The officials noted that the 65-year-old sought medical treatment in the US and rested in Morocco after a surgery on his shoulder, adding that Bandar held several official meetings while in Morocco.

During Bandar’s absence, Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef reportedly led the intelligence agency and Riyadh’s anti-Damascus policies.

Diplomatic sources said Washington had demanded the removal of Prince Bandar from the Syrian file because of his mismanagement of the situation in the country, which has been grappling with a foreign-backed crisis since March 2011.

On February 19, the Washington Post also reported that the Saudi interior minister had recently represented Saudi Arabia at a conclave of Western and Arab spymasters in the US, where he held talks with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice over the policies in Syria.

Bandar, who formerly served as Saudi ambassador to Washington for over 20 years, has been a staunch supporter of Takfiri militants operating against Syria.

He is widely believed to be the key figure trying to increase Saudi weapons flow to the foreign-backed militants in Syria fighting with President Bashar Assad’s government.

The Saudi prince is also known to have had close ties with former US President George Bush, and was an advocate of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.


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