Scoop Link: Muslim allies break ranks with US
Muslim allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan break ranks with US over bombing
Matthew Engel in
Tuesday October 16, 2001
Relations between the US and two of its core allies in the war against terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, approached crisis point yesterday after the Saudi interior minister, Prince Naif, attacked the assault on Afghanistan while Pakistan pressed Washington to ensure that its bombing campaign would be short-lived.
In the latest and most public of a series of disagreements that have evidently taken the US by surprise in the five weeks since the September 11 attacks, Prince Naif told the official Saudi Press Agency that the kingdom wanted the US to flush out the terrorists without bombing. "This is killing innocent people. The situation does not please us at all."
Officially, the state department in Washington remains "very satisfied" with the Saudi approach to the crisis, but this masks increasing alarm not merely about the governmental response but about potential insurrection that could endanger theSaudi regime.
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