"... "This was a message for the U.S., not the U.N.," Prince Bandar was quoted by diplomats as specifying of Saudi Arabia's decision to walk away from the Security Council membership.Top decisions in Saudi Arabia come from the king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and it isn't known if Prince Bandar's reported remarks reflected a decision by the monarch, or an effort by Prince Bandar to influence the king. However, the diplomats said, Prince Bandar told them he intends to roll back a partnership with the U.S. in which the Central Intelligence Agency and other nations' security bodies have covertly helped train Syrian rebels to fight Mr. Assad, Prince Bandar said, according to the diplomats. Saudi Arabia would work with other allies instead in that effort, including Jordan and France, the prince was quoted as saying.
U.S. officials said they interpreted Prince Bandar's message to the Western diplomat as an expression of discontent designed to push the U.S. in a different direction....
Diplomats and officials familiar with events recounted two previously undisclosed episodes during the buildup to the aborted Western strike on Syria that allegedly further unsettled the Saudi-U.S. relationship.
In the run-up to the expected U.S. strikes, Saudi leaders asked for detailed U.S. plans for posting Navy ships to guard the Saudi oil center, the Eastern Province, during any strike on Syria, an official familiar with that discussion said. The Saudis were surprised when the Americans told them U.S. ships wouldn't be able to fully protect the oil region, the (French) official said.
Disappointed, the Saudis told the U.S. that they were open to alternatives to their long-standing defense partnership, emphasizing that they would look for good weapons at good prices, whatever the source, the official said.
In the second episode, one Western diplomat described Saudi Arabia as eager to be a military partner in what was to have been the U.S.-led military strikes on Syria. As part of that, the Saudis asked to be given the list of military targets for the proposed strikes. The Saudis indicated they never got the information, the (French) diplomat said....
"The Saudis are very upset. They don't know where the Americans want to go," said a senior European (READ French) diplomat not in Riyadh..."
Monday, November 11, 2013
Bandar + $$$ + France = Scuttling US Diplomacy!
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 12:28 PM