News / Middle East

Saudi Officials Piqued at US Middle East Policies

Saudi Officials Piqued at US Middle East Policiesi
X
October 24, 2013 6:04 PM
The U.S. has downplayed recent tensions with Saudi Arabia, but some in the region say the problems may not be easily pushed aside. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.
Saudi Officials Piqued at US Middle East Policies
Elizabeth Arrott
The U.S. has downplayed recent tensions with Saudi Arabia, but some in the region say the problems may not be easily pushed aside.

The normally staid kingdom has rebuffed a seat on the U.N. Security Council, hinted it might go it alone on Syria, and most surprisingly, made clear its anger at long-time ally the United States.

Saudi editor and author Jamal Khashoggi, speaking to VOA via Skype, said, “What Saudi Arabia is probably worried about is that America is only interested in the nuclear issue with Iran, Israeli security, and they will leave to us the mess that we have in the Middle East to sort out ourselves.”

The “mess” in the wake of the Arab Spring is extensive. Saudi officials were furious over the U.S. reversal on strikes against Syria's government, an ally of Saudi rival Iran. Frustration grew over Washington's handling of Egypt. America's top diplomat called the ouster of an elected president "restoring democracy," but then Washington cut aid.

Political analyst Mustafa Labbad said U.S. Mideast policy lately is seen largely as a series of missteps. "You have to have a sophisticated plan as a super power. If you don't have it - so, you wouldn't achieve anything,” he said.

Hovering over all is the sectarian struggle between Sunnis and Shi'ites - roughly translated in Saudi leaders' eyes as Saudi Arabia versus Iran. U.S overtures to Tehran, in hopes of curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions, do not help.

Washington has downplayed the idea of a U.S-Saudi rift, but former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli said America needs to reassure its Middle East allies.

“We are neglecting them at our peril, because we need them. I think we are taking them a little bit for granted, frankly. And that includes Saudi Arabia," said Ereli.

Key strategic interests continue to bind the United States and Saudi Arabia - anti-terrorism and oil among the top issues. Many think those will outlast the current tensions. There may be a more fundamental change afoot, however, according to Khashoggi.

“What is happening in the Middle East is a rebirth, something similar to what happened in 1918 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. And it really needs stable, strong countries to manage that rebirth,” he said.

Those countries, he hopes, will be Saudi Arabia, with Sunni partners, such as Turkey. The question is whether or not Iran envisions a Shi'ite version of that scenario. Analysts believe it likely does.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Charles Mayson from: NZ
October 24, 2013 5:16 PM
The USA's incestuous relationship with the Tent Kingdom of the Saudis is long overdue in coming to an end. it always was one of the utmost cynicism and motivated by growing needs for oil and energy. But now this dependency is eroding and the price of it has been the explosion of Sunni Terrorism, with the USA as a primary target on Sept 11 and so many countries around the world. The quicker the USA and it allies sever this immoral and counterproductive relationship, the better. Le the uncivilised tent people wallow in their obscene material weath and be starved of any moral worth. It's what they deserve and it's been a long time coming.A national shower in antiseptic would cleanse America too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs