Thursday, February 10, 2011

U.S. Bumbles on Egypt

U.S. diplomacy, which was supposed to improve dramatically under Barack Obama, is apparently failing in a major way in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, "America's closest ally in the gulf", is not pleased with the administration's current clumsiness and insults to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. King Abdullah has even threatened to act directly against U.S. policy.
"Saudi Arabia has threatened to prop up embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak if the Obama administration tries to force a swift change of regime in Egypt, The Times of London reported Thursday.

"In a testy personal telephone call on Jan. 29, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah reportedly told President Obama not to humiliate Mubarak and warned that he would step in to bankroll Egypt if the U.S. withdrew its aid program, worth $1.5 billion annually.

"America's closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the Egyptian president must be allowed to stay on to oversee the transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with dignity.

"'Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated,' a senior source in the Saudi capital told The Times."
. . .
"The revelation of Saudi concerns sheds new light on America's apparent diplomatic paralysis and lays bare the biggest rift between the nations since the oil price shock of 1973."
[emphasis added]
If the Saudis wanted to, they could just tell the U.S. to pay Egypt some of the debt the U.S. owes Saudi Arabia. It can sometimes be uncomfortable being a big borrower.

Since this information came from The Times of London, one wonders where U.S. reporters are in getting such key information. Apparently down mingling with the folks (or hiding out after being threatened) in Tahrir Square.

No comments: