Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saudi Arabia Will Intervene In Iraq If USA Withdraws

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki dismissed an article by a Saudi security adviser suggesting that the oil-rich Gulf state would back the country's Sunnis in the event of a wider sectarian conflict. "I know this article doesn't represent Saudi policies. I am in contact with the Saudi government and they realise the necessity of protecting the democratic process," said Maliki, on his return to Baghdad from talks with U.S. President George W. Bush in neighbouring Jordan. Nawaf Obaid, a security adviser to the Saudi government, said on Wednesday the kingdom would intervene with funding and weaponry to prevent Shi'ite militias from attacking Iraq's Sunnis once the United States begins pulling out of Iraq.Obaid stressed in the article that the views were his own and not those of the Saudi government. "We have said repeatedly that speaking of one country backing the Sunnis and another the Shi'ites will deepen the differences within Iraqi society," Maliki said. Maliki also told reporters that Baghdad had added new language to this week's U.N. resolution extending the mandate of foreign forces in Iraq through to the end of 2007. "The international resolution on the forces ... has three new improvements or demands: our taking over security responsibility, our taking over the responsibility for building our forces and taking over the leadership and control of Iraqi forces," he said.