Saudis consider backing Iraq's Sunnis: NY Times

December 14, 2006 - 0:0
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in a war against Iraqi Shiites if the United States withdraws from Iraq, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing American and Arab diplomats.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia delivered that message to Dick Cheney during the U.S. vice president's visit last month to Riyadh, the newspaper reported, citing the officials it did not name.

Cheney went to Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, to discuss Iraq and how to break the deadlock in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

During the visit, King Abdullah also expressed strong opposition to diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran, which is largely Shiite, the Times said.

The Saudi leader also pushed Washington to encourage the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the newspaper reported, citing senior Bush administration officials.

The White House could not be reached immediately to comment on the report.