SAUDIS SEE THEMSELVES AS PIVOTAL IN RESTORING PEACE TO THE REGION
A confidential Saudi report, completed weeks before last week's Palestinian elections, confidently predicted a sweeping Hamas victory, and cited US policies in the region as one of the major factors contributing factors.
"...the U.S administration`s faith in the power of elections to transform people makes it oblivious to the possibility that the democratic process is often a double-edged sword which can have unintended consequences," the Saudi report stated.
"Such an outcome would have wide ranging implications for Saudi Arabia`s national security and emerging foreign policy in the region....
'A victory by Hamas presents a challenge to Saudi Arabia in that this financial support will likely need to be increased if the U.S. and Europe reduce or refuse to support a Hamas-controlled Palestinian government.
"American policies in the region, especially its unfettered support for Israel and its designation of Hamas as a terror organization, complicate the situation, and demonstrate that the Bush administration is clearly out of touch. Thus, they are unable to understand the situation from the Palestinian perspective."(The win by Hamas) will reveal the extent U.S. power, prestige, and ideals have been undermined in the region."
The Saudi kingdom sees itself as the major regional supporter of Palestine. More than $150 million is contributed by Saudi private citizens and charities to the welfare of Palestinians each year.
The report advised that Saudi Arabia should make itself instrumental in the new Palestinian political and social landscape, and recommended the Abdullah peace initiative of 2002, proposed by Saudi King Abdullah, be revived, as a way for Hamas to move forward and save face at the same time.
The then Crown Prince Abdullah offered recognition and normal relations for the State of Israel, so long as Israel withdrew from the territories it invaded and occupied in 1967, along with the return of displaced Palestinian refugees to Israel lands.
The report said when Hamas wins the Palestinian elections, "The Saudi leadership should prepare" for Israel to be offered such a deal.