Sunday, August 07, 2005

Abdullah - Mark Hollingsworth

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/607254.html

Saudi Arabia's King Fahd died on 1 August 2005. Fahd's half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al- Saud, has been de facto regent of the kingdom since Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1540654,00.html

Mark Hollingsworth, in the Guardian 2 August 2005:

The new king

1. 'believes his country should be less subservient to western military and strategic interests in the Gulf.'

'is likely to be more non-aligned, reducing Saudi dependency on America.'

2. is determined to curb royal corruption.

Hollingsworth explains how Saudi Arabia has supported the USA:

1. 'What was crucial was Saudi support for US access to ... Gulf bases.'

2. Saudi Arabia 'bankrolling US foreign policy, notably $32m to the Contra rebels against the Nicaraguan government, $4bn for the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s and $17bn for the 1991 Gulf war.'

3. Saudi Arabia supplied cheap, plentiful oil and manipulated the price to benefit the American economy.

'The House of Saud has been prepared to forgo much-needed profits in tight oil markets, coming close to bankrupting the country.'

Hollingsworth points out that the USA and UK have sold weapons to Saudi Arabia 'at inflated prices purely to produce kickbacks for its senior princes.'

Abdullah is 'a traditional Islamic Arab nationalist.'

Prince Sultan, the defence minister, 'craves the patronage of western governments.'

While King Fahd remained alive, Abdullah 'was often blocked by his reactionary half-brothers, Prince Sultan, Prince Naif (the interior minister) and Prince Salman (governor of Riyadh).



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