UK must stay on good terms with Saudi Arabia
The Telegraph (UK) 30/10/2007. Editorial
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia chides this country for ignoring Riyadh's warnings about the 2005 terrorist bombings in London.
"No action was taken," the king told the BBC in an interview to mark his state visit to London, "and it may have been able, maybe, to avert the tragedy."
This is not a new allegation, nor is it seen as a valid one by British intelligence, which says that any information was so vague as to be worthless in preventing the July 7 attacks.
In fact, the Saudi king was not really taking our security services to task but making a political point. He was voicing displeasure at the way we are handling relations with his country.
Accountable to no one, the Saudi royal family relishes discretion, indeed secrecy, in its dealings with foreign powers.
It would have been aghast at the highly public row that erupted last December when Tony Blair ordered the dropping of the Serious Fraud Office's investigation into the relationship between BAE Systems and the Saudi government.
The then prime minister was remarkably blunt about the reasons for the decision – the investigation, if it had continued, would have caused "the complete wreckage of a vital interest to our country".
That interest did not just include the