Buried inside a Telegraph
post about secretRussian and Saudi talks was a strange passive-aggressive alleged quote from the Saudi head of intelligence about terrorist attacks at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
The talks — divulged in leaked documents — were allegedly about an oil deal that would stabilise Russia’s markets, if Saudi Arabia curtailed the amount of oil it put on the global market. In exchange for their global price fixing — the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes that Russia “relies on an oil price near $US100 to fund the budget” — Russia would back off its support for Assad.
But there was a threat allegedly hidden in there right along with the fruit.
From The Telegraph [emphasis theirs]:
[Soudi intel chief] Prince Bandar [bin Sultan] pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.
Along with Saudi officials, the US allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise. Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves the guy.
They [Saudi officials] believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout.
Saudi Arabia’s distaste for Syria and Iran is as epic as it is old, so its geopolitical alignments with the U.S. comes as no big surprise. The Saudis and Qataris have been running guns in line with American interests in the Arab uprisings for quite some time now.
On the flip side, Russia’s (alleged) reaction is quite disconcerting, if you’re in the anti-Assad camp.
That, folks, is simply astounding.
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