Uncle Sam and the Saudi Split
BY DAVID OTTAWAY | SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s richest and most powerful state, is once again at loggerheads with the United States, its longtime patron, oil customer, and weapons dealer. The current split opened with the U.S. abandonment of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in January and widened as President Barack Obama’s administration haltingly embraced pro-democracy demands from the Arab street — a trend the kingdom staunchly and unequivocally opposes.
Those differences are yet again on painful display this week at the United Nations, where Saudi Arabia will join other Arab countries — and over 100 other U.N. members — in supporting the recognition of a Palestinian state in the world body, a move the United States has committed itself to opposing strenuously on behalf of its closest Middle East ally, Israel.