Arab Impulses: Anti-Islamic nations court Saudi kingdom!
-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL
The recent political developments reveal that Saudi Arabia, like Israel, feels miserable without the official courting of the USA.
Saudi Arabia is clamoring for a major role in shaping the region. They feel they deserve that.The way the Iran nuclear talks were handled particularly rankled the Saudis.
For the first time in diplomatic history of Saudi Arabia, the birth nation of Islam sees America as a big enough storm, upsetting all Saudi calculations for the region and world at large to control the Shi’a nations.
Saudi Arabia which obediently stood behind the USA in whatever the super power did or did not, including attacking Islamic nations from Afghanistan to Libya is now unhappy that the CIA-Pentagon refuses to attack Iran and Syria as expected by Saudi led Sunni Arab nations.
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over recent US policies in the Mideast, a frantic Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
Yet, Saudi Arabia cannot afford to reveal whole truth about Sept-11 hoax, because that would expose the land of Holy sites to global criticism for its role in joint anti-Islamic operations. .
If Saudi leaders take Americans for granted, it is their own fault only. The CIA that controls even Saudi intelligence would verily proceed along its own hidden agendas. Saudi can do nothing about it.
US allies are now the target of Saudi Arabia and they would stand gains from such revision of Saudi attitude.
In doing so, the strategists of Riyadh is aiming at making USA small in the world eyes so that Washington would return to Saudi fold with an early attack on Iran and Syria.
After all, USA and Saudi Arabia have been close allies for decades now, Riyadh has promoted US links even by sacrificing its legitimate veto handle on UNSC, thereby remaining a stooge of USA, for no credible reason.
The Saudis are particularly annoyed that the USA and Britain did not follow through with threats to punish Assad’s government over the use of WMD- chemical weapons. Those decisions caused similar uproar in France for Hollande, who many at home believed was left hanging as the only Western power to pledge military support.
Unlike the USA, the French have resisted suspending non-lethal aid to the rebels and show no signs of changing course. Hence Saudi Arabia picked it a close anti-Syria ally.
France was the special guest of Saudi Arabia as the French president visited the kingdom as important guest.
Saudi and France say they will continue to back the rebels fighting to overthrow Assad, in contrast with the Obama administration’s hesitation. The Saudi monarchy cannot fathom the fact that Assad might survive this crisis and then turn against them. They reject this possibility and are willing to do what they can to make Assad go.
The Syrian conflict, which has claimed more than 120,000 people and spawned a regional refugee crisis, has become in many ways a proxy fight pitting Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led Arab states against Shiite powerhouse Iran, a major supporter of Assad.
What the Saudis won’t do is send in their own well-equipped armed forces, because it could empower the Saudi military to turn against them as happened elsewhere during the Arab Spring. The Saudis also watch with trepidation at the warming ties between Iran and the West.
French President Francois Hollande and Saudi King Abdullah held talks on Sunday the 29th December on escalating tensions in the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanon and Syria, during a visit also aimed at boosting commercial ties. Hollande said in an interview that Paris and Riyadh share a “will to work for peace, security and stability in the Middle East.
With an entourage of French executives from the lucrative defense and energy sectors, including four ministers and 30 top French business figures, President Francois Hollande arrived in Riyadh for a flurry of accords and contracts that have been in the works for months. The two countries also find themselves unexpectedly aligned in resistance, if not outright opposition, to US policy on Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program.
At the news conference, Hollande also highlighted several commercial contracts that had been signed throughout the year and said he and King Abdullah talked about other possible areas of cooperation, like nuclear energy. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. and Saudi Arabia “share the same goals” of ending the war in Syria and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but she stopped short of endorsing a Saudi role at the bargaining table with Iran.
The two leaders, meeting at the king’s luxurious Rawdat Khurayim farm, 60 kilometres (37 miles) northeast of the capital, both expressed concern over Iranian interference in Lebanon and the region. Hollande highlighted both aspects of the relationship during the visit, underscoring for reporters the number of diplomatic issues that the two countries agree on and noting that trade between the two had doubled in the past 10 years to 8 billion euros ($11 billion) in 2013. The Saudi King (monarch) highlighted a “convergence” of positions between the two countries on several issues. Abdullah expressed his concern, even anxiety, about regional crises — Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt — and praised France’s courageous position on these key dossiers.
Hollande noted in the interview that Saudi Arabia has become France’s “top client in the Middle East” with trade exceeding eight billion euros ($11 billion) in 2013, including French exports worth three billion euros. The balance of trade remains in Riyadh’s favour on the back of its oil exports to France. Hollande also highlighted contracts won by French companies in the oil-rich kingdom, including Alstom’s Riyadh metro deal.’’
The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, recently described the policies of some partners toward Iran and Syria as a “dangerous gamble,” while calling for the kingdom to be more assertive internationally after decades of operating in diplomatic shadows.
Hollande said he and King Abdullah were on the same page in terms of finding a “definitive solution” to Iran’s nuclear drive as well as on the crisis in Syria. He reiterated that any transition in Syria “must not result in the prolongation” of Assad’s regime. In his interview Hollande accused Assad of using the threat of fundamentalist fighters “to put pressure on the moderate opposition”. Assad said this week that Syria was being confronted by a major offensive by Islamist extremists. Radical Islamist groups have taken on an increasingly prominent role in the Syrian conflict.
Hollande also met with Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Jarba. Syria opposition, weakened by many factors now, urged to join peace talks. He urged the Syrian opposition to take part in a peace conference in Geneva in January aimed at brokering an end to the country’s civil war.
The US-Russian backed talks dubbed Geneva 2 are aimed at reaching an agreement on a transition to end the war which has claimed an estimated 126,000 lives since March 2011 and displaced millions of people.
Syria’s increasingly fractured opposition has said Assad must step down as part of any deal, which Damascus rejects.
Francois Hollande ended the year with 24 hours of high-level meetings with the Saudi leadership in a visit intended to showcase commercial and diplomatic strength.
France has been one of the strongest backers of the Syrian moderate leadership, and Hollande had pledged military support against Syrian President Bashar Assad until both the United States and Britain backed away. On Iran, the French shouldered their way into the negotiations with Iran, demanding a better deal and warning that the Tehran government needed careful monitoring.
“We expected to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners who have previously talked so much about the importance of moral values in foreign policy,” he wrote in the piece titled “Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone.” But it may not have to. The French have been clear that they share Saudi fears that U.S. and Russian concerns over Islamic militants could leave Assad the victor in any peace deal.
Hollande’s visit is his second since taking office in May 2012 — a rarity for a French leader outside Europe — and his defense minister has been three times, most recently after the announcement of a 1.1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) contract with the Saudi navy.
During their meeting Sunday, King Abdullah expressed his concern over the situation in both Iran and Syria to Hollande, and he praised what he called France’s “courageous” position on these matters, according to a French official familiar with the discussions who would only speak on condition of anonymity in accordance with diplomatic rules.
At a news conference after the meeting, Hollande noted that the two countries’ relations had deepened in recent months, in part because of their agreement on the crises in the region, including Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program.
In October, Saudi Arabia stunned diplomats when it rejected its first ever seat on the UN Security Council without veto. The Saudi Foreign Ministry blasted the council for an “inability to perform its duties” in stopping the war in Syria. The problems in Mideast today is clear negligence on the part of the world, who continue to watch the suffering of the people without taking steps to stop that suffering.
Saudi, Syria, Lebanon
Lebanon was at the top of the Saudi-France agenda amid heightening tensions in Beirut and Hollande later met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a strong critic of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah movement, which is fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.
Hariri, the son of former premier Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in a massive car bomb in February 2005, lives outside Lebanon due to security fears. In a statement Hariri highlighted “the importance of French support of the Lebanese state in particular the Lebanese army.” Lebanon’s armed forces are woefully under-equipped and face multiplying security challenges, underlined by the blast that killed Chatah, although officials played down any link with the Saudi aid pledge. Hollande also pledged to “meet” any requests by the Lebanese government to arm the army. His comments came as Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman announced from Beirut that Saudi Arabia had pledged $3 billion for the Lebanese army to buy French equipment.
The West’s policies on Iran and Syria are a “dangerous gamble” and Saudi Arabia is prepared to act on its own to safeguard security in the region, a top Saudi diplomat said.”We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East,” the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, wrote in a commentary in the New York Times. “This is a dangerous gamble, about which we cannot remain silent, and will not stand idly by,” he wrote. The bluntly-worded warning was the latest in a series of public statements by senior Saudi figures expressing displeasure with US and Western diplomatic initiatives towards Syria and Iran.
Citing Iran’s backing for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, he said “rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them. “The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization,” he wrote. Diplomatic talks with Iran may “dilute” the West’s will to confront both Damascus and Tehran, he said. “What price is ‘peace’ though, when it is made with such regimes?” As a result, Saudi Arabia “has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs.”
The Saudi ambassador slammed the West for its reluctance to offer decisive help to Syrian rebels, vowing to continue support for the Free Syrian Army and the “Syrian opposition.” The Gulf monarchy had “global responsibilities,” both political and economic, and he said: “We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners.” In a thinly veiled jab at US President Barack Obama, the Saudi ambassador said that “for all their talk of ‘red lines,’ when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.” Obama had used the term “red lines” to warn Syria’s regime against using chemical weapons. After the regime was accused of firing chemical weapons, Obama threatened punitive military strikes. But in the end, with no proper evidence of regime use of WMD, he pursued a diplomatic agreement in which Damascus promised to give up its lethal arsenal of chemical agents.
Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia has given the world the impression that it cannot tolerate Shii’te Iran and Sunni Syria ruled by a Shi’te president. Riyadh is annoyed with a rising Turkey, an impressive Islamic Iran, hates Sunni Syria because it is ruled by a Shiite while it promotes Shi’ite Bahrain ruled by a Sunni leader and sent it’s military there to defend the Sunni ruler against the Arab Spring, there.
Until recently, Saudi leaders rarely voiced public criticism of their Western allies in a decades-long partnership. But Washington’s decision to pull back from military action in Syria and its backing for an interim nuclear deal with Iran has dismayed the oil-rich Saudi kingdom, which views Tehran as a dangerous regional rival.
Washington has strived to downplay any suggestion of a rift with Saudi Arabia. Senior American officials have traveled to the Gulf recently to reassure allies, including Saudi Arabia. And the US partnership, which includes billions in defense contracts, would likely endure beyond the current tensions.
A closer Saudi-French relationship could mean more of those lucrative deals go to Paris.
The Saudi obsession that they will be sold out to the Iranians in a grand bargain makes them want to be in these meetings to ensure that does not happen. Iran would never agree to any talks involving the Saudis, but that wouldn’t stop the kingdom from trying.
Saudi Arabia should revise its pro-west and anti-Islam polices to aid the enemies of Islam. In stead of trying for war against Iran or Sunni Syria, Riyadh would do well by creating infrastructure to defend Islam, Muslim nations, and global Muslims- maybe called Islamic Security Organization (ISO)
Unless it undertakes steps to secure Islam, it cannot claim leadership of entire Islamic world.
د. عبد راف
–BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator on world affairs Expert on Mideast Affairs, Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Former university Teacher; Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: email@example.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)
Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Anti-Islamism is more dangerous than “terrorism”. Fake democracies have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices.