Senior Saudi royal slams Obama’s lecture on sharing

Special to WorldTribune.com

A Saudi royal ripped into U.S. President Barack Obama for “insulting” the kingdom by “telling us to share our world with Iran.”

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the kingdom’s former intelligence chief and envoy to Washington, slammed Obama’s recent comments to The Atlantic magazine in which the president said the Saudis need to “share” the Middle East with their Iranian enemies.

Infamous photo from April 2009 shows President Barack Obama bowing to Saudi King Abdullah. /Getty Images
Infamous photo from April 2009 shows President Barack Obama bowing to Saudi King Abdullah. /Getty Images

“The competition between the Saudis and the Iranians – which has helped to feed proxy wars and chaos in Syria and Iraq and Yemen – requires us to say to our friends as well as to the Iranians that they need to find an effective way to share the neighborhood and institute some sort of cold peace,” Obama said.

In an opinion piece published in Saudi newspapers this week, Faisal wrote: “You accuse us of fomenting sectarian strife in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. You add insult to injury by telling us to share our world with Iran, a country that you describe as a supporter of terrorism.”

Faisal questioned whether Obama has “pivoted to Iran so much that you equate the kingdom’s 80 years of constant friendship with America to an Iranian leadership that continues to describe America as the biggest enemy, that continues to arm, fund and support sectarian militias in the Arab and Muslim world.”

As the Obama administration enters its final months, Faisal said that Saudi Arabia “will continue to hold the American people as our ally… Mr. Obama, that is who we are.”

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