Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saudi King Abdullah Condemns U.S. Occupation of Iraq

Above: Iranian President Ahmadinejad and King Abdullah meeting in Riyadh in February. Though Saudi official reports focused on ending regional sectarian strife, Iran's official reports quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that "Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are aware of the enemies' conspiracies, and while condemning these conspiracies, we invite all Muslims to be aware of the enemies' plans with wisdom," and further, "About the Palestinian and Iraqi issues, we had discussions in detail. In many cases, we had a common point of view. Both countries oppose the enemies' control over the Islamic region."

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 28 — The king of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, condemned the presence of American forces in Iraq as an “illegitimate foreign occupation” in a speech today, and said the withholding of aid to Palestinians should end.

The king’s speech, at the opening of the Arab League summit here, appeared to distance his country’s position from that of the United States. Saudi Arabia has been a powerful Arab ally to the United States in the Persian Gulf region.

The speech was wide-ranging, but in referring to the Palestinians and the conflict in Iraq he touched on two of the biggest issues in the Middle East. “In our dear Iraq, the blood is spilling between our brothers in light of an illegitimate foreign occupation,” he said.

At the start of the two-day meeting of Arab states, King Abdullah called on Arab governments to increase their unity.

Read the rest at the NY Times

Related Link:
Ahmadinejad, Abdullah pledge to fight the spread of sectarian strife

Related Link:
Perspective: Rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia now in talks to defuse regional tensions

Related Link:
'Senior U.S. Official': Saudi Arabia prepared to send troops in case of chaos