Friday, December 22, 2006

Power Struggle In Saudi Arabia

Power Struggle In Saudi Arabia:A Sign Of Regional Instability By Peter Symonds
23 December 2006

The abrupt resignation of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al-Faisal, last week is one more sign of a power struggle underway in Riyadh. While factional intrigues in the Saudi royal family are undoubtedly involved, the overriding factor is the deepening instability throughout the Middle East being fuelled by the aggressive intervention of the US, above all in Iraq. One consequence has been an intensification of the traditional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional dominance.

After just 17 months as US ambassador, Prince Turki announced on December 12 that he was quitting to spend more time with his family. The reason is obviously absurd. He gave the same excuse when in 2002 he stood aside as head of the Saudi intelligence services—a post he held for 24 years and which included responsibility for providing covert funding in the 1980s to the Afghan mujaheedin via Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

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