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Close Saudi-US ties lead to Arab anger 24, January 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Saudi Arabia.
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The recent visit of President Bush to the region has elicited predictable responses from predictable sources. Various critics of the US have used this opportunity to berate the Americans for – amongst other things – preaching peace on the one hand, and imparting billions of dollars worth of weapons on the other. These points do have some validity, but, because of the quarters out of which they come, it is no great shock.

Additionally, you don’t need a political science degree to realise that Syria will not like the cordiality afforded the to Americans this past week. However, usually, you’d expect them to keep these views to themselves. However, the Saudi newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat reports a spat between the Syrian Ambassador to Egypt (as well as to the Arab League) Yusuf al-Ahmad and the Saudi Ambassador to the League, Ahmad Abdulaziz Qattan, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

The Syrian Ambassador suggested that it was not appropriate to give the US President such a welcome, bearing in mind the US’ support of Israel. To this, the Saudi Ambassador vociferously defended Saudi Arabic, and pointed out that the US – a long term ally of Saudi – had physically defended Saudi Arabia in the Gulf War.

Of course, when questioned about this later on, this argument became ‘banter’ between friends, and the comments of the Syrian Ambassador were – apparently – not aimed at any country in particular. Naturally.

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=1&id=11556

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