Jerusalem Report

Mideast Monitor: Alarm bells in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly struggled to make sense of US President Barack Obama’s policy on the Middle East.

US Secretary of State John Kerry confers with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud
The G5+1 talks in Geneva produced an interim agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in return for the partial easing of international sanctions. One already obvious outcome is a crisis of confidence in Riyadh regarding the actions and intentions of its longstanding ally and patron, the United States.

US-Saudi relations have known ups and downs over the years. Notable downs – the Saudi-led oil embargo in 1973 and the American frustration with Saudi Arabia’s failure to support Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s peace initiative and the signing of the Camp David Accords with Israel in 1978 – were connected to fundamental differences on the Arab-Israeli conflict. But they never led to a rupture in relations.

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