In a reportedly tense phone call between King Abdullah and Barack Obama, the Saudi ruler admonished the American president for being too quick to urge Hosni Mubarak to step down from office, the Times of London reports. Worried that the West was pulling the rug out from under the Egyptian autocrat and thereby "humiliating" him, Abdullah warned against the United States pulling its aid from Egypt in order to force Mubarak's exit. The U.S. currently gives $1.5 billion in yearly aid to Egypt, one of our sole close allies in the Middle East. Abdullah, one of the wealthiest men in the world and ruler of one of the most oil-rich nations (for now at least), said he would match that if it meant giving his longtime friend a leisurely and dignified break from power. "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," said a government source in Riyadh. "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."
Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images
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