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Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:36PM
Saudi King Abdullah (file photo)

Saudi King Abdullah (file photo)

A close aide to US President Barack Obama has warned the president about the imminent downfall of the ruling monarchy in Saudi Arabia. Bruce Riedel, an adviser on foreign policy to US President Barack Obama and also director for Near East and North African Affairs in the US National Security Council, recently penned a memorandum to the president noting that “Saudi Arabia is the world's last absolute monarchy” and that “like [France's] Louis XIV, King Abdullah has complete authority.” He wrote that the ongoing wave of "Awakening” is making a revolution possible in the Arab kingdom most probably during the second term in office of President Obama. “Revolutionary change in the kingdom would be a disaster for American interests across the board,” Riedel warned. He noted that the United States would have “serious option for heading off a revolution” if it is going to happen in Saudi Arabia, which is Washington’s oldest ally in the Middle East. Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, as well as an end to widespread discrimination. However, the demonstrations turned into protests against the repressive Al Saud regime, especially after November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province. KA/SS/MA
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