PUBLISHED: 00:27 GMT, 23 October 2013
Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with US over response to conflict in Syria
Saudi Arabia is an important ally to the U.S. as it provides a secure source of oil
Saudi diplomats now promise a ‘major shift’ in relations with the U.S. over inaction in the conflict in Syria
Secretary of State John Kerry says he is committed to keeping a good relationship with the Saudis
Upset at President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran and Syria, members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States that could take the alliance between Washington and the kingdom to its lowest point in years.
Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief is vowing that the kingdom will make a ‘major shift’ in relations with the United States to protest perceived American inaction over Syria’s civil war as well as recent U.S. overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and 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 source said.
‘The shift away from the U.S. is a major one,’ the source close to Saudi policy said. ‘Saudi doesn’t want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.’
It was not immediately clear whether the reported statements by Prince Bandar, who was the Saudi ambassador to Washington for 22 years, had the full backing of King Abdullah.
The growing breach between the United States and Saudi Arabia was also on display in Washington, where another senior Saudi prince criticized Obama’s Middle East policies, accusing him of ‘dithering’ on Syria and Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Secretary of State John Kerry says he’s confident the U.S. will continue to have a good relationship with Saudi Arabia
Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki Al Faisal also is outraged the international community has let the war continue in Syria