Geneva II: Saudi Arabia wants to block it

The new head of the so called opposition Syrian National Coalition said he expected advanced weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia to reach militant mercenaries soon, strengthening their currently weak military position.

Ahmad Jarba, who has close links to Saudi Arabia, told Reuters in his first interview since being elected president of the coalition on Saturday that the opposition would not go to a proposed peace conference in Geneva sponsored by the United States and Russia unless its military position improves.

“Geneva in these circumstances is not possible. If we are going to go to Geneva we have to be strong on the ground, unlike the situation now, which is weak,” Jarba said on Sunday after returning from the northern Syrian province of Idlib, where he met commanders of insurgents’ brigades.

About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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3 Responses to Geneva II: Saudi Arabia wants to block it

  1. kruitvat says:

    U.S. Relations With Saudi Arabia

    BUREAU OF NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS

    August 23, 2013

    The United States and Saudi Arabia established full diplomatic relations in 1940. Saudi Arabia’s unique role in the Arab and Islamic worlds, its possession of the world’s largest reserves of oil, and its strategic location make its friendship important to the United States. The United States and Saudi Arabia share common concerns and consult closely on wide range of regional and global issues. As the region is going through a period of great transformation, the United States appreciates Saudi Arabia’s leadership in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future for the region. Saudi Arabia is also a strong partner in regional security and counterterrorism efforts, providing military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation. It works closely with U.S. law enforcement to safeguard both countries’ national security interests.

    The United States and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding security relationship and have cooperated closely on this front for nearly 60 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a role in military and civilian construction activities in Saudi Arabia. Three security assistance organizations are funded through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program: to provide training and support in the use of weapons and other security-related services to the Saudi armed forces; to assist in the modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard; and to train and equip a Facility Security Force, part of the Ministry of Interior. The United States has sold Saudi Arabia military aircraft, air defense weaponry, armored vehicles, and other equipment.

    The United States and Saudi Arabia enjoy a strong economic relationship, as the United States is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is one of the largest U.S. export markets in the Middle East. The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed a Trade Investment Framework Agreement. Saudi Arabia is also one of the leading sources of imported oil for the United States, providing more than one million barrels per day of oil to the U.S. market.

    Saudi Arabia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Saudi Arabia also is an observer to the Organization of American States.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3584.htm

    America’s secret drone base in Saudi Arabia
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9853655/Americas-secret-drone-base-in-Saudi-Arabia-revealed.html

  2. kruitvat says:

    Pressure of Saudi Arabia

    October 25, 2013

    ‘Angry Over Syrian War, Saudis Fault U.S. Policy’

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia has abandoned its traditional policy of discretion in recent weeks, signaling deep anger at the Obama administration’s Middle East policies and threatening to break with its most powerful ally and pursue a more robust and independent role in supporting the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

    But privately, Saudi officials concede that their efforts to forge an alternative strategy in Syria have run up against the same issue the Americans face: how to bolster the military might of a disorganized armed opposition without also empowering the jihadists who increasingly dominate its ranks.

    And while Saudi officials have hinted at a broader diplomatic shift away from the United States, their options are limited there, too: Saudi Arabia is dependent on American military and oil technology, and the other countries the Saudis have courted — including France and India — can help only on the margins, analysts say.

    Diplomats who have spent time recently with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief running the kingdom’s Syria operation, say he seems most preoccupied not with Mr. Assad’s forces, but with the number of foreign jihadists in Syria, which he estimates at 3,000 to 5,000, including about 800 Saudis whose identities his government closely tracks. He expects those numbers to double every six months, said an American official who knows him well.

    The Saudis work to broaden their support to the Syrian rebels by sending money and arms to nonjihadist factions. But their fear of blowback is a limiting factor, rooted in their bitter experience with Saudis who fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and later returned to mount deadly terrorist attacks here.

    “No Saudis will be trained to fight in Syria — in fact, we don’t want any Saudis there at all,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, who was the kingdom’s intelligence minister when thousands of Saudis went — with the government’s blessing — to fight in Afghanistan.

    It is particularly galling for the Saudis to see that their regional rival, Iran, has no such fears as it carries out a far more effective proxy war in Syria. It has deployed its Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as far afield as Yemen to recruit jihadist-style fighters for the cause, who are then trained and equipped in Iran or Syria, American officials say. The commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, visits Damascus regularly and is playing a leading role in Mr. Assad’s military campaign against the rebels, American and Arab officials say.

    In a sense, Prince Bandar is Mr. Soleimani’s counterpart, but his failure to shape a cohesive rebel force helps explain the depth of the Saudis’ anger at the Obama administration’s decision not to launch airstrikes on Mr. Assad’s military in September. They feel their hands are tied, and the recent gestures — including Saudi Arabia’s unprecedented refusal of a seat on the United Nations Security Council — are rooted in a belief that only the United States has the military power and global authority to make a difference in Syria.

    “Refusing the council seat this way, after we had won it, had more impact than if we had just withdrawn two years ago,” said Prince Turki, who gave a speech on Tuesday in Washington assailing the Obama administration for its failure to provide more support to the rebels. Prince Turki, who has no official position, said he believed the gesture was aimed in part at a Saudi domestic audience and in part at the United States, in hopes that it could win some leverage for a more aggressive stance on Syria.

    “Whether we can get Mr. Obama to change his mind, I don’t know,” Prince Turki said.

    Syria is not the only Saudi grievance against the Obama administration. With Egypt, the Saudis were angry that Washington turned on its longtime ally, President Hosni Mubarak, and accepted the election of an Islamist, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis were again upset that the United States suspended some aid after the military overthrew Mr. Morsi in July.

    While Washington may have felt it had no choice but to support the millions who poured into the street calling for Mr. Mubarak’s ouster and to show some displeasure with a military takeover, the Saudis saw the United States as having let down an ally in support of the Islamists, twice.

    The Saudis also feel slighted by Washington’s seeming eagerness to reach a nuclear deal with Iran — negotiations they feel they should be a part of. Iran is Saudi Arabia’s nemesis in the region, and the Saudis are worried that Washington is again being naïve in trusting that Iran will offer a sincere and verifiable compromise with its nuclear program.

    But Syria has been a special concern for Saudi Arabia’s monarch, King Abdullah, Saudi officials say, for two reasons. He feels responsible for halting the wide-scale killing of his fellow Sunni Muslims. And Syria has become the most important battleground, in Saudi eyes, for the perennial conflict with Iran, which is seen here as almost an existential threat to the kingdom because of its goal of exporting its own brand of revolutionary Shiite Islam across the Muslim world.

    “Saudi Arabia cannot afford to be encircled by Iran, from Iraq and Syria. That is out of the question,” said Khalid al-Dakhil, a political sociology professor at King Saud University who has called for Saudi Arabia to become less dependent on the United States.

    The Saudis were initially reluctant to provide military support to the rebels in Syria after the uprising turned into an armed opposition movement in 2011. The interior minister, Muhammad bin Nayef, was against it, and cited the concern that money and arms could flow to jihadists, according to a Western diplomat who spoke with him at the time.

    The Saudis began funneling arms to the rebels in 2012, but provided light weapons only, largely out of concern that heavier weapons could get into the hands of jihadists. They mostly worked through middlemen, including Lebanese political figures who had long been part of their patronage network. But that approach hampered their effectiveness, with much of the money landing in foreign bank accounts instead of buying weapons for the rebels.

    One of those intermediaries was Okab Saqr, the Lebanese member of Parliament who fled to Europe because of death threats after his role was exposed, though some in the Syrian opposition say he is still involved. Wissam al-Hassan, the Lebanese security general who was killed in an explosion in Beirut last year, also helped to coordinate military support to the rebels, according to a Lebanese official and a Saudi adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal operations.

    The Syrian opposition’s political arm complained about the intermediary role of the Lebanese, and asked the Saudis to deal with the opposition more directly.

    In late 2012, Saudi Arabia grew frustrated with Qatar, which had been financing Islamist rebel brigades, and shifted its focus to Jordan, where it began working with the Jordanians and the C.I.A. in an effort to vet and train the more secular rebel groups. The Saudi effort was largely in the hands of Prince Bandar’s younger half-brother, Prince Salman bin Sultan, with Prince Bandar supervising from Riyadh.

    Last weekend, Prince Bandar hinted that he would downscale this joint effort, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, and that he might work more through the French and Jordanians. But French, Jordanian and Saudi officials dismissed those prospects, saying that Prince Bandar’s comments were meant to show anger at American inaction on Syria, not an actual plan.

    “We can’t punish America,” said the Saudi official, adding that while the sense of grievance was strong, no specific steps had been taken to break with the United States. “We don’t have the tools.”

    Other Saudis also expressed doubts that the kingdom could easily decrease ties with the United States.

    “Move to what?” asked Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist with close ties to the royal family. “There is no alternative. It is just a tactical pressure on the American administration when it comes to Syria,” he said. “But Saudi Arabia has so much of value in the relationship with America, in security exchanges and the war on terror. We benefit more from this than the U.S. does from us.”

    For the Syrian opposition, the Saudi outbursts have been encouraging, but members say they have not seen any signs of a new direction that might benefit them.

    “If all this Saudi anger translates into more support for us, great,” said Najib Ghadbian, the United States representative of the Syrian Coalition, the opposition’s main political arm.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/world/middleeast/saudis-faulting-american-policy-on-middle-east.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

  3. kruitvat says:

    OIL SALES

    Oct 27, 2013

    ‘Persian Gulf Arab States Plot to Disintegrate Libya’

    “The Persian Gulf littoral Arab regimes have decided to support the militant and separatist groups’ movements in Eastern Libya, specially the oil-rich territories of Barqa,” informed Libyan sources told FNA on the condition of anonymity.

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920805000601

    —–
    October 23, 2013

    ‘South Sudan Gets $780.4 Million From June-October Oil Sales’

    South Sudan has made $780 million from its sale of more than 13 million barrels of crude oil in the last four months, according to a statement released this month.

    South Sudan accrued gross proceeds of $1.3 billion before tax during the period. Of that, the country paid $329 million to Sudan as part of a tariff and transitional fee arrangement between June and October.

    Despite the fragile political situation between Sudan and South Sudan–which seceded in 2011 inheriting around 75% of the oil fields–data shows that South Sudan’s oil sales are flowing regularly. Disagreements continue however, this week, Sudan threatened to block South Sudan’s oil exports over a disagreement over Abyei, a small, oil-rich region that the two countries have fought over.

    A spokesman for Sudan’s foreign ministry, Rabie Abdelaty, said Monday that Khartoum may be forced to exert more pressure on its landlocked neighbor, including blocking oil exports, “should the two nations fail to agree on Abyei.”

    Juba halted oil exports in January 2012 over a spat with Sudan over oil transit fees and Abyei. But in fall of this year, they reached a deal and South Sudan turned on its taps. It has gradually increased production ever since.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20131023-707764.html

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