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Feb 10

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:42 AM 

You know that press release, I mean, story the News-Talal-Corp-owned Times of London broke and that the News-Talal-Corp-owned Fox News carried about Abdullah tellling Obama not to "humiiiate" Mubarak?

Get the feeling the papers were being used as media major domos of the "Kingdom"? The writing has an unusually, let's say, emphatic flair.

Here's Fox's anonymous report:

Saudi Arabia threatened to prop up embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak if the Obama administration tries to force a swift change of regime in Egypt The Times of London reported Thursday.

In a testy personal telephone call on Jan. 29, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah reportedly told President Obama not to humiliate Mubarak and warned that he would step in to bankroll Egypt if the U.S. withdrew its aid program, worth $1.5 billion annually.

America's closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the Egyptian president must be allowed to stay on to oversee the transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with dignity.

(That reminds me; I've heard Shepherd Smith talking about Egypt as being "America's closest ally in the Middle East." Which is ridickaluss. Israel is. But maybe not in official Fox-Talal-land.)

"Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated," a senior source in the Saudi capital told The Times.

???

Two sources confirmed details of the King's call, made four days after the people of Egypt took to the streets.

???

The revelation of Saudi concerns sheds new light on America's apparent diplomatic paralysis and lays bare the biggest rift between the nations since the oil price shock of 1973.

The tough line from Riyadh is driven by concern that Western governments were too eager to shove aside Mubarak when the uprising began, without proper consideration of what should follow him.

There's something here that doesn't sound quite like regular copy coming straight from the newsroom without first taking a detour across a Saudi flack's desk. No quotations, just words like "humiliate" " proper consideration" "dignity." I dunno. Sounds funny.

"With Egypt in chaos, the kingdom is Washington's only major ally left in the Arab world and the Saudis want the Americans to remember that," said a source in Riyadh.

The White House declined to comment on the reports Wednesday, saying that the administration did not divulge what other leaders said to Obama.

However, it later said that Obama had discussed Egypt during a phone call with King Abdullah on Wednesday, saying the U.S. leader stressed the need for a meaningful and lasting political transition....

NewsCore contributed to this report.

How nice.

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