Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saudi/US rift widens


Saudis to US: No More Oil Trade for US Security Shield

Saudi King Abdullah landed a surprise on the Gulf Cooperation Council summit convened in Riyadh Tuesday, May 10: He proposed inviting two Arab monarchs, Morocco’s King Mohammed V and Jordan’s King Abdullah II to join the GCC with full membership privileges. Neither kingdom is situated in the Persian Gulf geographic region which is represented by the GCC; nor do they have oil or gas and their economies are weak and dependent on American aid. Morocco and Jordan are furthermore not in Iran’s cross-hairs, the threat of which is uppermost in the minds of Gulf rulers (along with the crisis in Yemen: See our last issue No. 492 of May 13: Saudi Prince Butts Heads with Iranian General in Syria).

Nonetheless both sides stand to gain from the partnership.
Although they have not yet officially answered the invitation, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Gulf sources do not doubt it will be taken up willingly by the monarchs of Rabat and Amman. Their entry into the Gulf alliance would bring their armies into the mutual defense system known as Gulf Shield. It would qualify them for a military role in the ongoing Saudi-led GCC operation for propping up the Bahraini throne but, as full members, they would also enjoy the benefits of the Gulf’s common market and be able to trim down their dependence on American economic and military aid. GCC seeks extra leverage to fight Obama’s Muslim vision

The affluent and powerful Arab Gulf grouping, for its part, would gain extra leverage for pursuing its main goals. Attaching Jordan and Morocco would downgrade the Egyptian-dominated Arab League and bypass its decisions which must be unanimous to be binding.

The expanded GCC would also be divorced from post-Mubarak Egyptian influence.
(See separate item in this issue on the US and Egypt)

Saudi Arabia, one of the Arab League’s seven founding members in 1945, is now bent on expanding the Sunni Arab royalist alignment to replace the League as the most powerful inter-Arab vehicle for challenging the two emergent Muslim forces seeking Middle East domination.

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