Saudi FM warns Washington Iraq “is hurtling toward disintegration,” threatening the region with war
In his talks with the Bush administration, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said “All the dynamics are pulling the country apart, a development that could drag the region into war. A senior administration official (unnamed) responded: “The United States values and respects his view and we all share a common concern for the future and stability of Iraq.”
President Bush at the Pentagon again expressed long-term optimism although he warned that the bloodshed in Iraq was likely to increase in the coming weeks, as Iraq prepares to vote on its constitution and elect a permanent government.
Prince Saud blamed several American decisions for the slide towards disintegration, though he did not refer to the Bush administration directly. Primary among them was designating “every Sunni as a Baathist criminal.” He argued: “…unless something is done to bring Iraqis together, elections alone won’t do it. A constitution alone won’t do it.”
He noted Turkey has long threatened to send troops if the Kurds declared independence and Iran is already sending money and weapons to support the Shiite-controlled south’s drive for independence. “This is a very dangerous situation.”