Roman Around

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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi prince’

SAUDI PRINCE: NOT SO FAST ON THE AIRSPACE THING

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 13, 2010

Okay, now that seems to make more sense.

After the Times Online reported on Saturday that Saudi Arabia had given Israel permission to use their airspace for possible raids on Iranian nuclear facilities, Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf is saying that it ain’t so.

From Haaretz:

Saudi Arabia would not allow Israeli bombers to pass through its airspace en route to a possible strike of Iran’s nuclear facilities, a member of the Saudi royal family said Saturday, denying an earlier Times of London report.

Earlier Saturday, the Times reported that Saudi Arabia has practiced standing down its anti-aircraft systems to allow Israeli warplanes passage on their way to attack Iran’s nuclear installations, adding that the Saudis have allocated a narrow corridor of airspace in the north of the country.

Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi envoy to the U.K. speaking to the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, denied that report, saying such a move “would be against the policy adopted and followed by the Kingdom.”

According to Asharq al-Awsat report, bin Nawaf reiterated the Saudi Arabia’s rejection of any violation of its territories or airspace, adding that it would be “illogical to allow the Israeli occupying force, with whom Saudi Arabia has no relations whatsoever, to use its land and airspace.”

This story doesn’t especially surprise me.

While the original story did seem plausible to me in a “maybe-there-really-could-be-a-Santa-Claus” kind of way, one could have probably bet the mortgage that a story like this would follow soon after, regardless of how accurate it is.

It almost had to happen.

And while a case can be made that the Saudis will ultimately do whatever is necessary to preserve the kingdom, including allowing Israel to use Saudi air space to conduct raids on Iranian nuclear targets, would anyone expect Saudi Arabia to say publicly that they’ve actually come to an agreement of this type with Israel?
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