Saudi-U.S. Ties Strained by U.S. Foreign Policy in Middle East

Article excerpt

Saudi National Security Council head Prince Bandar bin Sultan has predicted that Saudi Arabia will make a "major shift" in relations with the United States to protest what Saudis regard as American inaction over Syria's civil war, among other factors.

An October 22 Reuters report cited an unnamed source close to Saudi policy as expressing a similar view. "The shift away from the U.S. is a major one," Reuters quoted the source saying.

"Saudi [Arabia] doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent." Saudi Arabia signaled its unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy October 18 when it rejected a two-year term on the UN Security Council, presumably to protest the failure of the U.S.-supported UN attempt to end the war in Syria and to settle other Middle East issues.

An October 23 report in the Washington Post said that Saudi King Abdullah privately expressed his frustration with U.S. policy in a lunch in Riyadh two days earlier with King Abdullah of Jordan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the U.A. …