Days after Saudi Arabia surprised the international community with its last-minute decision to reject a rotating UN Security Council seat, there were signs of a growing rift between the oil-rich Gulf monarchy and its key ally, the US.
At a weekend meeting with European diplomats, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief said the kingdom would make a “major shift” in its relations with the United States in protest over Washington’s perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran, according to media reports.
In an interview with Reuters, a source close to Saudi policy said Prince Bandar had also told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011.
“The shift away from the US is a major one,” the Saudi source told Reuters. “Saudi doesn’t want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.”
“Prince Bandar told diplomats that he plans to limit interaction with the US,” the Saudi source told Reuters. “This happens after the US failed to take any effective action on Syria and Palestine.”
But he suggested that the planned change in ties between the energy superpower and its traditional US ally would have wide-ranging consequences, including on arms purchases and oil sales.
Full article: Saudi spy chief warns of ‘major shift’ in ties with US (France 24)