Monday, October 29, 2007

Saudi King Abdullah in UK

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is due to arrive in the UK on Monday for the first state visit by a Saudi monarch for 20 years.

In politics there are only mutual interests that matter. It's no wonder if UK, a constitutional monarchy has close relations with Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy. Both are concerned about terrorism as Islamists can originate from SA seeking to carry out terrorist attacks in UK. Or simply they give logistic and financial supports to Jihadist in UK, Pakistan or anywhere else in the world. The stability of SA depends on close links with UK and the USA economically and militarily. But it's unlikely they will pressure Saudi monarchy to become fully democratic as long as it guarantees their interests. Saudi Arabia is still seen as a country with full economic potentials. Its oil is more attractive than anything else when its price doesn’t stop soaring.

Saudi Arabia is one of the richest kingdoms on earth but one with the poorest records on human rights. The Saudis can’t have a good time in their country as they are deprived of personal freedom. They travel abroad to have a good time in places like casinos and bars and to enjoy sexual freedom as when they are caught having sex outside marriage in their country they can’t escape being flogged or even beheaded. So money doesn’t buy freedom in this rich country, even for the rich. Protesting openly about human rights abuses in this country can be counterproductive for the business communities in these countries whose aim is to have secure shipment of oil and not full implementations of human rights as this can be regarded by the cynics as an internal matter.

Mr Cable's decision to boycott King Abdullah's visit will have little impact as the King is in UK for business. He will have little to worry about as Mr Cable's party has little chance to be in power in the foreseeable future. In Saudi Arabia public pressure has little impact. It's sure that Cable's boycott will be overlooked in Saudi media which will rather focus on the lavish welcome he will receive by the Queen and her government and on the agreements to be officially signed by UK and SA.


Hisham said...

How is that for spreading democracy... It's utter hypocrisy!
those people make me sick!

Abdelilah Boukili said...

You are right, brother Hisham. Politics has no soul or principles. It's all about pragmatism at best and interests at worst. So no surprise if the devil and the angel make a compact. It remains to know which is devil and which is angel in politics.