‘Nothing has been ruled out’: Saudi ambassador

In a US op ed, Saudi Arabia’s UK ambassador warns the kingdom will act without Western backing in regional conflicts

Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (Getty Images)

Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has not ruled out anything in its pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the Arab world, the kingdom’s ambassador to the UK has warned in an opinion piece published in The New York Times.

Writing to an American audience, Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also said Saudi Arabia would act independently if the West refused to assist in regional conflicts, in particular the Syrian crisis.

“The foreign policy choices being made in some Western capitals risk the stability of the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world,” Al Saud, a member of the royal family, wrote.

“This means the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs.

“We will act to fulfill [our] responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners.

“Nothing is ruled out in our pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the Arab World ... We showed our preparedness to act independently with our decision to reject a seat on the United Nations Security Council.”

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and its traditional Western allies, including the US and UK, have simmered recently over what the kingdom says has been inaction in Syria and its fears a recent nuclear agreement with Iran is a sign of a softening stance on one of its main rivals.

Earlier this year the kingdom dramatically turned down its seat on the United Nations Security Council in retaliation.

Al Saud said the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risked the stability and security of the Middle East and were “a dangerous gamble” that the kingdom could not “stand idly by” and watch.

The West’s concerns over Al Qaeda in Syria were “no excuse” for inaction, while the policy change on Iran had allowed its program for uranium enrichment to continue, “with all the consequent dangers of weaponisation”.

“Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria,” Al Saud wrote.

“Saudi Arabia will continue on this new track for as long as proves necessary.

“We expected to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners who have previously talked so much about the importance of moral values in foreign policy.

“But this year, for all their talk of ‘red lines’, when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.”

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Posted by: cliff

He's right. Saudi Arabia does have enormous responsibilities, especially within the region. So instead of looking for the US and UK to literally be putting lives on the line to intervene, let's see some Saudi military might and boots on the ground.

Posted by: procan

Right on cliff, KSA Qatar they all need to man up, fight there own battles. Lead the charge not follow meekly behind the skirts of Western States. If they do not like whats happening in there own back yard do something about it. As the years pass and much less need for Arab crude the relationship will change.

Posted by: Sameer

Dear All Muslims You cannot believe on West & US, they never be ur good friend. They just playing their game only. West & US are selfish.

Posted by: worrybeads

@Doug, you are so wrong , the Middle East and most African countries are a western creation. Syria , Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, etc never existed before the end of first world war as unique national entities. The ethnic mix in a lot of the countries are akin to what used to be Yugoslavia, religiously and culturally.
So in common tradition what you are really saying is that it is OK for the west to cause a problem, after tinkering a bit declare that the job is done and leave the mess for some one else to clear up.
Or are you really saying that the west interfered in Iraq and Libya, so learn a lesson we are good at creating problems, this time have a go at it yourselves and lets face it you cant mess it up any more than the West !

Posted by: PPM

And the East are not being selfish and playing their own games? Really?
I don't think there is anywhere in the world Sameer where you will find a government that is NOT acting purely in the selfish interests of either themselves and their families or - far more rarely in the "non-West" - their suffering populations.

Posted by: Anon

Good comment Jeezy....their day will surely come soon.

Posted by: Jeezy

Political pandering knows no bounds. In the end KSA needs the West for protection and security from both external foreign forces and from their own domestic populations... When the money runs dry and the gulf states cannot afford to placate the masses we will then see the continuation of the Arab Revolution (too call it the Arab Spring is ridiculous as it implies a seasonal change which will pass over with time).

Posted by: Mick

Don't leave out Australia....latest find in just one area (Cooder Pedy) has an estimated 233 billion barrels of shale oil). KSA has a "claimed" estimate of 267 billion in reserve. Experts say that's been augmented by a vanity 40%.
The window is closing on OPEC and there are very little favours left or could be demanded by KSA or any Middle East country. As was said by Telco...when we are placed as secondary citizens in the Middle East, why should we jump to fight a less militarily-strong country's battles for them. If a country has issues and can't solve them....live with them. Don't demand another nation to take up your fight. If you can solve it, do it.

Posted by: worrybeads

@Jeezy, I disagree with your words but agree on the sentiment. While the going is good every one is happy . This is not only economical going it is geo political too! Canada will soon become the biggest energy supplier to USA. Russia is now the biggest Natural Gas supplier to Europe. The EU pressure on the member countries to look at other sources of energy, suddenly a friendly Monarch, President or Emir may become more problem than .....
Look at the history the west abandoned Imperial Iran, got an Islamic Republic and the mess afterwards, do you think that a lesson was learned? Look at Iraq and Libya first before answering.

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