Saudis feel let down by America, says Prince Turki Al-Faisal

TEHRAN, May 02 (MNA) – Former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador Prince Turki Al-Faisal blames President Biden’s policies for US energy shortage and that Saudis feel let down.

Saudis feel let down at a time when they believe the US and Saudi Arabia should be together facing threats to the stability and security of the Persian Gulf region, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief and former ambassador to both London and Washington DC, told Arab News.

He identified the threats specifically as Iran’s influence in Yemen.

“The fact that President Biden delisted the Houthis from the terrorist list has emboldened them and made them even more aggressive in their attacks on Saudi Arabia, as well as on the UAE,” Prince Turki said.

“We have always considered our relationship with the US as being strategic,” he said on the question of whether many Saudis feel they have been betrayed by one of their closest allies.

“We’ve had our ups and downs over the years and perhaps, at this time, it’s one of the downs, particularly since the president of the US, in his election campaign, said that he will make Saudi Arabia a pariah. And, of course, he went on to practice what he preached: First of all, by stopping the joint operations that America had with the Kingdom in meeting the challenge of the Houthi-led rebellion in Yemen against the Yemeni people. And, second, among other similar actions, by not meeting with (Saudi Arabia’s crown prince) and publicly declaring that he would not meet with the crown prince, and, at one stage, withdrawing anti-aircraft missile batteries from the Kingdom when we were facing an increase in attacks by the Houthis..." he said.

Prince Turki went on to claim that the Saudis “all the time … has been calling for a peaceful solution to the Yemen conflict, accusing the Houthis of violating the upholding UN-brokered two-month ceasefire.

In this connection, Prince Turki expressed strong displeasure with comments made by Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program in support of a “carrot-and-stick” approach to force Saudi Arabia to increase its share of oil production in order to reduce prices during what she called an “existential crisis.”

Prince Turki said, “We are not schoolchildren to be treated with a carrot and stick. We are a sovereign country, and when we are dealt with fairly and squarely, we respond likewise. It is unfortunate that such statements are made by politicians wherever they may be. I hope that the relationship of the Kingdom and the US will not hinge around or be built upon that principle.”

Likewise, Prince Turki brushed away the charge that Riyadh has chosen to side with Moscow in the Ukraine conflict, noting that “the Kingdom has publicly declared and voted to condemn the aggression against Ukraine that was passed by the UN General Assembly.”

His comments about Iran's support for Houthis in Yemen come while Iran has always insisted that only intra-Yemeni talks can resolve the crisis in Yemen without foreign intervention.

Leading a military coalition began a military campaign against Yemenis in 2015 after the Houthi-led Absarullah took the control of the capital Sanna and ousted the Mansour Hadi illegal government, who fled to Saudi Arabia. 

The Saudis have also imposed a overall blockade on the impoverished country since the imposed war began.

Iran has called for a political solution to the conflict and has denied it has supported the Sanna government militarily time and again.

Tehran has also welcomed the UN-backed ceasefire and called for its continuation while the Saudis have violated the ceasefire hundreds of times since it began last month.

KI/PR

News Code 186407

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