With US ties frayed, Saudi calls for Gulf union

With its decades-old US alliance strained over the Syria war and a nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi Arabia is calling on the Gulf monarchies to unite for their own self-defence.

US Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel, visiting Saudi Arabia on Monday, has assured Gulf states that the agreement struck between major powers and Iran on November 24 will not affect the presence of some 35,000 US troops in the region.

But in a speech at the Manama Dialogue security forum in Bahrain, Saudi Assistant Foreign Minister Nizar Madani said “Gulf countries should no longer depend on others to ensure their safety.”

The oil-rich monarchies “must unite under one political entity in order to face internal and external challenges,” said the minister.

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Yep, the Saudi oligarchs are feeling the heat. They’ve created some storms which are now heading home.

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Pointing my finger on the brighter spots. We win, and winning is fun.

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