Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama Talks Economy With Saudi King

AFP: US President Barack Obama on Friday spoke by telephone with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Canada's leader Stephen Harper as well as Saudi King Abdullah, the White House said.
Press spokesman Robert Gibbs gave no details of the conversations which were Obama's first with the three key US allies since he took office on Tuesday.
But a spokesman for the British prime minister's office told AFP: "They spoke about the economy, the Middle East and other international issues. The tone of the conversation was friendly and substantive."
Why that call may have happened so soon:
Reuters: The call to Abdullah coincided with the publication of an article by Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States, warning Obama the United States was putting Saudi ties at risk with its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In an article on the Financial Times website, Turki said former President George W. Bush had left a "sickening legacy" in the Middle East.
"If the U.S. wants to continue playing a leadership role in the Middle East and keep its strategic alliances intact -- especially its 'special relationship' with Saudi Arabia -- it will have to drastically revise its policies vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine," Turki said.
Obama also talked to Abdullah about preventing weapons smuggling into Gaza