Sunday, March 27, 2011

UK: Saudi Arabia supports operations in Libya

Britain's PM David Cameron reportedly said that Saudi Arabia is "very supportive" of the Western actions in Libya. But, it is not clear at all what forms of support the oil-rich kingdom has given to the Western operations to enforce the no-fly zone and also conduct the air strikes. Most probably, it gives cash to pay for the campaign in Libya so that Western nations. like Britain and France are not financially burdened. It is unlikely for Saudi Arabia to contribute military personnel or/and assets which bear its name because it is still fearful of anti-Western blacklash in the now highly volatile Middle East and also North Africa, where the influences of Iran as well as its allies are not insignificant. As the fact of the continuing upheaval on Saudi Arabia's periphery in spite. of the condemnations made by its ruler and official clerics has shown, the moral authorities and soft power of Saudi Arabia' s ruling elites are fairly limited among Muslim masses on the earthly ground. Certainly, its ruling family would like to be in good terms with China, India and Russia which are openly opposed to the Western campaign in Libya, so that if and when America once again presses it for more reforms which threaten regime survival, it has some counterweights to serve as political and diplomatic leverages in international bodies. Above all, there is no clear sign yet of the regime in Tripoli certainly going to lose the war, even though the rebels have won some battles.