July 29, 2004
Saudis trying to create security force for Iraq (GEORGE GEDDA, July 29, 2004, Chicago Sun-Times)
With American support, Saudi Arabia is taking the lead in trying to form a Muslim security force to help Iraq overcome its 15-month-old insurgency, U.S. and Saudi officials said Wednesday.
Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed the issue with top Saudi officials after a stop in Egypt and had it on his agenda for today's talks with Iraq's prime minister, Ayad Allawi, in Jiddah.
''We're taking this initiative because we want to help the Iraqi people reclaim their sovereignty as quickly as possible, because there is a tremendous desire in the Arab and Muslim worlds to help Iraq and because instability in Iraq has a negative impact on Saudi Arabia,'' said Adel al-Jubeir, a top Saudi government foreign policy adviser.
Details on the force were scant, but a major Saudi concern in recent weeks has been the infiltration of militants from Iraq.
Powell's spokesman, Richard Boucher, said, ''We discussed some ideas tonight with the Saudis that they have been discussing with others about how to facilitate the deployment of troops from Muslim countries. The goal is to help Iraqis establish security. It's a goal that they support, that we support, and we'll keep talking to them about it.''
Shouldn't this have waited until John Kerry was in office? Posted by Orrin Judd at July 29, 2004 10:38 AM