WASHINGTON — The United States must back a Palestinian bid for UN recognition of statehood or risk becoming "toxic" in the Arab world and forcing a split with ally Saudi Arabia, a top Saudi diplomat warned Monday.
If Washington imposes its veto when the Palestinians seek to become the 194th member state of the United Nations then "Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has," former Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal wrote.
He warned in a commentary in the The New York Times that a US veto would see American influence decline, "Israeli security undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region."
"The 'special relationship' between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims, who demand justice for the Palestinian people."
Saudi leaders would be forced therefore to "adopt a more independent and assertive regional policy," he warned, pointing to such incidents as Riyadh's recent military intervention in Bahrain.
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