We mentioned before how the blunders of the Obama administration’s Middle East policies would alienate our closest allies in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia. The proof is in the pudding: The NYT reports that the Saudis passed on their turn to speak at the UN General Assembly this week:
They said it was the first time that the Saudis, who are strong American allies, had scrapped that opportunity to state their positions on world affairs, not even submitting a written statement in lieu of a speech.Diplomatic officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter, said Saudi Arabia opted not to participate partly because it did not want to publicly criticize the Security Council over what the kingdom had judged to be a weak response to the conflict in Syria and the use of chemical weapons there.
It’s not just our Syria non-policy that has the Saudis at arm’s length. The newfound cooperation between President Obama and President Rouhani of Iran has put an added strain on the US-Saudi relationship. The Saudis, like the Israelis, are displeased with the prospect of US-Iranian non-proliferation talks. They see them as an Iranian ploy to ease UN sanctions while continuing to press toward getting the bomb. And while the Saudis are a key American ally, they are adept at securing their interests in the region and are not beholden to Washington. If they continue to be dissatisfied with US policy, they might hinder, or at a minimum do nothing to help, other US interests in the Middle East.[King Abdullah and Barack Obama photo courtesy of Getty Images]