Top Saudi Columnist: Obama’s Gulf Visit Did Little To Mend Rift with Kingdom

Saudi's newly appointed King Salman (R) shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at Erga Palace in Riyadh on January 27, 2015.
JAFFA, Israel – One of the leading columnists in Saudi Arabia believes that President Obama’s visit to the kingdom last week did little to mend the rift between the two countries. Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, the former editor-in-chief of the influential Asharq al Awsat newspaper and the Al Arabiya news network as well as a close associate of the Saudi royal family, wrote that Obama’s visit and participation in a summit of the Gulf States Council were the most significant gestures he has made since the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran last year, but moves that left much to be desired. “Since the signing of the deal, little has changed in the field of the United States’ dialogue with the Gulf States on Iran-related issues, mainly the Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni conflicts,” he wrote. “Since the signing of the deal with Iran, the White House failed to give the other camp security guarantees that would alleviate the dangers that the deal ushered in,” he added. “Meanwhile, Iran has pursued its efforts to take over the region.” The regional conflicts have prevented the Gulf States from cooperating with Washington’s conciliatory approach to Iran “because it encouraged Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to intervene in international conflicts in an unprecedented manner.” Al-Rashed wrote that