NBC's Richard Engel: King Abdullah "Could Not Stand" Obama


RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, ISTANBUL: What I think is most important is the idea of continuity. Saudi Arabia wants to maintain stability, they want to maintain the same policies which have worked for them, and kept the Saud family in power for nearly a century.

That is the key thing here, not to, in fact, Saudi Arabia was actively against rapid moves towards democratization. One of the big ironies here is that President Obama in his statement said how close he was to King Abdullah.

King Abdullah did not like President Obama. In fact, a lot of people I know who are quite close to the late King Abdullah said that the King could not stand President Obama because the president was supportive of the Arab Spring, and because the president did not support Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, in fact turned his back on Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

So this close personal bond between the president and the Saudi leader is just people being polite at a time of sadness.

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