Saudi king expresses fear Middle East conflicts could become global

MADRID, Spain: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, a key player in Middle East politics, said he fears conflicts in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq could explode into a global one, according to a newspaper interview published Monday.

“My fears are similar to those of all sensible people, that the continuation of all these conflicts will provoke an explosion that will not be restricted to the region, but will have global dimensions,” Abdullah said, according to the interview in Spain’s leading daily El Pais.

Abdullah began a three-day visit to Spain — his first — later Monday. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia greeted the Saudi monarch at El Pardo Palace with an honor guard and 21-gun salute.

Regarding the latest outbreak of internal Palestinian violence, Abdullah said: “I feel profoundly hurt by what is happening in Palestine. We are in contact with all the parties involved within the Palestinian community,” he said in the interview conducted in Morocco.

Saudi Arabia has commented little on the recent clashes in Gaza between Hamas and their rivals in the Fatah movement — a sign some see as anger at the two sides and reluctance to get involved.



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