Reuters reports: When Saudi Arabia’s veteran foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, made no annual address to the United Nations General Assembly last week for the first time ever, his unspoken message could hardly have been louder.
For most countries, refusing to give a scheduled speech would count as little more than a diplomatic slap on the wrist, but for staid Saudi Arabia, which prefers backroom politicking to the public arena, it was uncharacteristically forthright.
Engaged in what they see as a life-and-death struggle for the future of the Middle East with arch-rival Iran, Saudi rulers are furious that the international body has taken no action over Syria, where they and Tehran back opposing sides.
Unlike in years past, they are not only angry with permanent Security Council members China and Russia, however, but with the United States, which they believe has repeatedly let down its Arab friends with policies they see as both weak and naive.
Like Washington’s other main Middle Eastern ally, Israel, the Saudis fear that President Barack Obama has in the process allowed mutual enemies to gain an upper hand. [Continue reading…]