Saudi Press Slams US Bias in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Saudi newspapers on Wednesday slammed the US role in the Middle East peace process which it brokers and said Washington's "total alignment" with Israel was at the expense of the Palestinians.
"The total alignment of the United States with Israel has been prejudicial to the peace process," said Al-Watan, which like the rest of the Saudi press reflects the official view in Riyadh.
It pointed out that Washington was supposed to be "an intermediary and honest broker" in the peace process launched at a Madrid international conference in 1991.
"The United States has so far only put pressure on the Palestinians, the weaker party, to claw concessions out of them and force them to sign unjust accords which will never stick," said another Saudi daily, Al-Medina.
Saudi Arabia, a key Arab ally of the United States, has grown increasingly critical of US policy in the region since deadly Israeli-Palestinian clashes broke out at the end of September.
The cabinet on Monday urged the United States to pressure Israel to put an end to the violence.
"The Saudi kingdom calls on all those countries wanting peace, notably the United States, a sponsor of the Middle East peace process, to play a crucial role in ending Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people," it said.
This call "reminds the United States of its responsibilities as the sole superpower and one which has strategic interests in the region," warned Al-Watan.
At the Arab summit in Cairo on October 21-22, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz turned against the United States in a rare tirade and blamed Washington for the collapse of the peace process.
Defense Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, meanwhile, has warned the US administration to keep its distance from pro-Israeli resolutions in Congress.
"I believe the interests of the US government consist in not adopting the same positions as Congress because the true interests of the government are to be found in the Arab countries," he said in a meeting with chief editors of Saudi papers.
The US House of Representatives last week expressed "its solidarity with the state and people of Israel" and condemned the Palestinian leadership "for encouraging the violence and doing so little for so long to stop it" -- RIYADH (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)