Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu….Did They See the Picture? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Two parties have without a doubt been provoked by the striking presence of Saudi Arabia at the international level, especially when this representation is at the level of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz. These two parties are Iran and Israel. The height of this provocation came when they saw the Saudi monarch representing the Arab world at the G20 Summit that took place last week in Toronto, Canada, as well as later when they witnessed King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz receiving a warm welcome, and striking and deserved praise, from US President Barack Obama. President Obama said that he fully values King Abdullah’s wisdom and insights, especially as the Saudi King – as he is well known for – put forward a number of important issues to his American host that relate to both Riyadh and Washington, including affirming the right for the existence of a Palestinian State, Saudi Arabia’s adherence to the Arab Peace Initiative and the peace process as a whole, and the need for Iran to adhere to international resolutions, as well as a call for a speedy formation of an Iraqi government.

These all represent points which are not in Iran or Israel’s interests. As a result of this, we saw the Iranian President announce inaccurate statements from Tehran – coinciding with the end of the G20 Summit in Canada and prior to King Abdullah’s meeting with President Obama in Washington – with regards to his country’s relations with Saudi Arabia. This was in the hope of embarrassing the Saudi Arabians, and putting pressure upon them in the public sphere.

While today we see leaked information being reported in a French publications – and coinciding with Ahmadinejad’s statements – which have been denied by Saudi officials. These leaks claim that King Abdullah said that Iran and Israel do not deserve to exist, and these are statements that aim to disrupt the Saudi monarch’s visit [to Washington]. It seems that these allegations have come in response to what was being discussed in Washington between King Abdullah and Obama surrounding the issue of peace. Here we must remember that the Israeli’s have been planning to launch an international campaign against Saudi Arabia for the past few months.

Accordingly, it is irrational to believe the comments that were attributed to the Saudi monarch, for this is not the rhetoric of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz. How could King Abdullah use such rhetoric when he is the men who led the rapprochement between Riyadh and Tehran, when he was Saudi Crown Prince and Hashemi Rafsanjani was President of Iran? The Saudi monarch was also the leader who put forward the peace initiative that today has been dubbed the Arab Peace Initiative, so how is it possible for him to pursue any approach that calls for war, escalation, or crisis?

As mentioned previously, the magnitude of this attempted disruption that took place in the wake of King Abdullah’s trip between Canada and the US reveals that Iran and Israel are the major agitators responsible for this. Therefore, it seems that Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu did not sufficiently study the images of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Toronto and Washington, while if they had seen these then it seems that the provocation

prevented Tel Aviv and Tehran from understanding the clear and explicit significance of these images. This is that Saudi Arabia is a genuine state, with a genuine and effective presence; Saudi Arabia is a state that desires peace and respects international laws, it is not a state that is seeking clamor and media attention, not is it a country that sponsors [armed] militias, or is seeking to evade the benefits of peace. This is what the images of King Abdullah at the G20 Summit and his meeting with the US President clearly show. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the proof of this is that many have lost their temper after seeing these images.