Reasons behind deep Bandar-US divide: Report

A London-based Arabic language newspaper has revealed the reasons behind the deep differences between Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan and the US administration.

Citing diplomatic sources, Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper said in an article published on Friday that Washington’s disclosure of intelligence on a planned coup organized by Prince Bandar to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last year had infuriated the spymaster.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi also noted that Bandar had refused to attend the recent meetings between Saudi officials and US Secretary of State John Kerry during the latter’s visit to Riyadh earlier this month.

A Russian Embassy staff in Riyadh, who checked the spymaster’s passport during his recent visit to Moscow, also disclosed that the US officials had cancelled a multi-entry visa granted to Bandar to visit Washington.

One of the key differences between Saudi Arabia and the US is about how to handle the crisis in Syria. Saudi Arabia is angry over what is sees as a weak US foreign policy on the country.

Last month, Riyadh rejected a United Nations Security Council seat to protest what it called “double standards” over the UN’s failure to act in the Syrian conflict and a US decision to call off a previously announced plan for military strikes against Syria.

“This was a message for the US, not the UN,” Prince Bandar said at the time.

The spymaster has said that his country plans to make a “major shift” in its dealings with the United States.

Saudi leaders are also concerned about US President Barack Obama’s seeming desire to reach a diplomatic deal with Iran over its nuclear energy program as they fear that closer ties between Tehran and Washington would mean they will be left out in the cold.

Saudi Arabia is a major diplomatic and trading partner for the United States.

By Press TV


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