WASHINGTON – The White House denied Wednesday that Saudi Arabia had warned it would support Iraq’s Sunni minority against its Shia majority if the United States withdrew its forces from the war-torn country.
“That’s not Saudi government policy,” said the spokesman, who acknowledged that he had not discussed the matter with Riyadh’s embassy in Washington or to officials in Saudi Arabia.
The New York Times, citing US and Arab diplomats, reported Tuesday that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia delivered the warning to Vice President Dick Cheney in Riyadh two weeks ago.
“It’s a hypothetical situation, and we”d work hard to avoid such a structure,” one Arab diplomat in Washington told the Times.
“If things become so bad in Iraq, like an ethnic cleansing, we will feel we are pulled into the war,” the diplomat was quoted as saying.