‘No, Mr. Obama, We Are Not the Free Riders’

President Obama’s use of the term “free riders” in Jeffrey Goldberg’s cover storyto describe some U.S. allies has prompted a sharp response from Turki al-Faisal, a senior Saudi prince who previously served as his country’s ambassador to Washington.

In an open letter to the president in the Arab News newspaper, Turki lists what he says are Saudi Arabia’s contributions to its relationship with the U.S. They include, among other things, intelligence sharing, the creation of the Arab anti-ISIS coalition, his country’s role in Syria and its military intervention in Yemen, the thousands of Saudi students at U.S. universities, and the purchase of U.S. treasury bonds.

Turki does not hold an official position in the Saudi leadership, and his remarks, published only in English, suggest his intended audience was Western, specifically American. But Turki is a longtime insider and his views are likely to be shared by many in the Saudi foreign-policy establishment, as well as his fellow princes.

The reaction is the strongest yet to be delivered publicly by the Saudis following publication of Goldberg’s article, “The Obama Doctrine.”

Read more » The Atlantic
See more » http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/03/saudi-obama-free-riders/473643/

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