Saudi losing faith in the USA?



Saudi: US Iraq presence illegal

King Abdullah said blame lay with Arab leaders themselves
The Saudi monarch has made a forceful appeal for Arab unity, denouncing US policy in Iraq and the embargo imposed by western nations on the Palestinians.
At the Arab League summit in Riyadh, King Abdullah described the US presence in Iraq as an illegitimate occupation.

Correspondents say he is seeking to show a measure of independence from Saudi Arabia's ally, the United States.

Arab leaders are meeting to relaunch a plan for peace with Israel that they first endorsed five years ago.

Also known as Beirut Declaration
Adopted by Arab League in 2002
Calls for "full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967"
Calls for Israel's "acceptance of an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital"
All Arab states would establish "normal relations... with Israel" and "consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended"
Calls for a "just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem"

The plan offers Israel normal relations with Arab states if it withdraws from land occupied in 1967, and accepts a Palestinian state.

Arab hard-liners have accused Riyadh of being ready to water down the "land for peace" deal to gain Israeli acceptance.

Israel's western allies have withheld recognition from a new Palestinian unity government, including members of the Islamist group Hamas which they consider a terrorist organisation.


The Saudi monarch insisted said the "real blame" for Arab woes lay with squabbling Arab rulers, who could only prevent "foreign powers from drawing the region's future" if they united.

"In beloved Iraq, blood is flowing between brothers, in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and abhorrent sectarianism threatens a civil war," said the king.

"In wounded Palestine, the mighty people suffer from oppression and occupation," he said.

Summits are often platforms for Arab discord not Arab unity

"It has become vital that the oppressive blockade imposed on the Palestinians end as soon as possible so the peace process will get to move in an atmosphere without oppression."

"Our constant disagreements and rejection of unity have made the Arab nation lose confidence in our sincerity and lose hope."

A US official has insisted King Abdullah was wrong to criticise the US military presence in Iraq.

"The United States is in Iraq at the request of the Iraqis and under a United Nations mandate. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong," said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

Guarded welcome

Separately, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said it refused to accept the revived Arab peace plan as it stood and further discussions were needed.

"There is only one way to overcome our differences, and that is negotiation," Mr Peres told Israeli public radio. "It's impossible to say: you must take what we offer you as is."

Under the plan, Arab nations would recognise Israel if Israel withdrew from land occupied in the 1967 war, accepted a Palestinian state, and agreed a "just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem".

Israel rejected the 2002 plan outright after it was first proposed at an Arab summit in Beirut, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is now giving it a guarded welcome, albeit with reservations linked to the issue of refugees.

There are more than four million Palestinian refugees registered with the US, most of them descendants of people living in British-administered Palestine, before Israel was created in 1948.

Israel opposes allowing them to exercise any right to return to their original homes or land, because it could erase its current Jewish majority.
Papa_Lazarou said:
Not to mention the west losing faith in the Saudi's
Fair comment, but the Saudi govt has problems of its own right now. Even authoritarian absolute monarchies have domestic constituencies.


Book Reviewer
I'm not convinced that Israel should have to give all that land back. They were attacked from all sides by four countries at once with the aim of total invasion and the destruction of the state of Israel. The arabs would not have shown mercy or magnanimity towards the jews if they had won. These are hardly disputable facts.

To my way of thinking, Israel had to fight for its very existence against overwhelming odds after a massive surprise attack and beat the enemy. The fact that they trounced their enemies and kept a bunch of extra land that they'd won seems only fair in a spoils of war sort of way.

If the arabs had won and invaded Israel, they'd NEVER give it back and they wouldn't care less about the jewish refugees.

Whilst we're on the subject, what are these middle eastern countries doing about a homeland for the Kurds? Precisely nothing apart from oppressing them.

If the jewish people could have re-entered arab countries without fear of persecution, they might not have required a homeland. It is too easily forgotten by arabs that the Middle East IS where the jewish people come from and that they have been refugees in Europe for nigh on two thousand years after the Roman occupation.

The arabs need to get past the stupid rhetoric and the blindness to history. They also need to remember that they were the aggressors in 1967 and they got soundly beaten - it serves them right if they lose some land as a result.

crabtastic said:
Papa_Lazarou said:
Not to mention the west losing faith in the Saudi's
Fair comment, but the Saudi govt has problems of its own right now. Even authoritarian absolute monarchies have domestic constituencies.
That is the nub of the problem for KSA at present.

Apart from domestic consumption, this particular statement is probably also a little bit of window-dressing and muscle-flexing to try and impress the other Arab League members, in case they're too inclined to think of the Saudis as Bush's poodles.

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