The conversation between President Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah early Thursday, Feb. 10, was the most acerbic the US president has ever had with an Arab ruler, debkafile's Middle East sources report.
They had a serious falling-out on the Egyptian crisis which so enraged the king that some US and Middle East sources reported he suffered a sudden heart attack. Rumors that he had died rocked the world financial and oil markets that morning and were denied by an adviser to the ruling family. Some Gulf sources say he has had heart attacks in the past.
Those sources disclose that the call which Obama put into Abdullah, who is recuperating from back surgery at his palace in Morocco, brought their relations into deep crisis and placed in jeopardythe entire edifice of US Iran and Middle East policies.
The king chastised the president for his treatment of Egypt and its president Hosni Muhbarak calling it a disaster that would generate instability in the region and imperil all the moderate Arab rulers and regimes which had backed the United States until now. Abdullah took Obama to task for ditching America's most faithful ally in the Arab world and vowed that if the US continues to try and get rid of Mubarak, the Saudi royal family would bend all its resources to undoing Washington's plans for Egypt and nullifying their consequences.