By Jamie Crawford
Secretary of State John Kerry says relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are strong despite reports the Saudis are looking to de-emphasize its alliance with Washington.
"I have great confidence that the United States and Saudi Arabia will continue to be the close and important friends and allies that we have been," Kerry told reporters on Tuesday in London on the sidelines of a conference about the international response to the civil war in Syria.
Kerry was responding to questions based on a report from Reuters that quoted Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, telling European diplomats the kingdom would be making a "major shift" in relations with Washington over perceived inaction towards the carnage in Syria, and a possible rapprochement with Iran over its nuclear program.
The comments were noteworthy coming from Bandar, who served as the kingdom's ambassador to Washington for many years and enjoyed warm relations with both Democratic and Republican administrations.
By Jethro Mullen
The villagers had congregated at the tent, as they often did at the end of the workday, to sit and chat.
Among them were men who sold vegetables or wood. Others mined or traded minerals used to make alloys like stainless steel.
They were husbands and fathers, brothers and sons.
But unlike villagers who might gather like this in many other parts of the world, these men had strange company at their customary get-together.FULL STORY