Saudi Arabia and the U.S.: Reluctant Bedfellows in a Strategic Embrace

[Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies-Tel Aviv University] Joshua Teitelbaum - It appears likely that in the near future (at least until a new president enters the White House), Riyadh will be moving its relationship with Washington on a new trajectory that emphasizes its independence from a weakened U.S. For instance, President Bush's July 16 call for an "international meeting" this fall on Arab-Israeli issues elicited mixed signals from Saudi Arabia. A visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in early August resulted in a statement by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faysal that the Saudis "would look very closely and very hard at attending" the meeting - a response that was interpreted, perhaps charitably, by a senior State Department official as "an interesting and forward-leaning answer." But in mid-September, Saud lowered expectations of Saudi attendance.

2007-09-26 01:00:00

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