Saudi Arabia warns it will act against West’s policy in Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to London has claimed the country is determined to independently arm Syria rebels after rejecting the diplomatic tactics of its Western allies

Saudi Arabia has warned it has been forced to go its own way in foreign policy as its Western allies seek diplomatic solutions to the war in Syria and crisis with Iran.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to London said US-led diplomacy in the region was risking the stability of the Middle East.

Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al-Saud said his country is determined to independently arm Syria rebels and could not stand idly by while thousands of children were being killed by Syria’s regime.

Despite almost a century of friendly ties with countries such as Britain and America, the oil rich monarchy can no longer follow its allies as they pursue diplomacy with its Middle Eastern enemies.

“We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East,” he wrote in the New York Times. “The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its programme for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponisation.”

High level warnings from Saudi royals over the West’s betrayal of previously shared foreign policy goals have also included demands for the Gulf countries to have a seat at negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former head of Saudi intelligence, said Riyadh felt the US and its allies had worked behind its back to achieve a diplomatic accord with Iran.

“It is important for us to sit down at the same table,” he said. “We have been absent.”

Julian Barnes-Dacey, a Syria expert at the European Council for Foreign Relations, said the Saudi leadership viewed support for the Syrian rebels and overthrow of the Iranian-aligned Syrian regime as vital for its own security. “There is broad consensus on the need to push hard on Syria because they don’t want the Iranians to gain the upper hand,” he said. “Saudi Arabia is upping its game to help the rebels on the ground. This is not just empty talk but is an appeal to the West to stand alongside them as they look to change the end game.”

“Our strategic posture is moving from reactive to proactive, we have a new defence policy,” he said.

The American rush to embrace detente with Tehran resulted in a landmark interim deal last month that put the country’s nuclear programme on hold in return for some easing of sanctions.

The nervous Gulf states have warned that Iran remains a destructive force in the Middle East and will use a thaw as cover for its support for terrorist groups and militias across the region.

Full article: Saudi Arabia warns it will act against West’s policy in Middle East (The Telegraph)

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