Letter sent to the Guardian:
I was encouraged by foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s candid admission that the Saudis are in his words “puppeteering” in the middle east conflicts. (“Johnson hits out at Saudis on proxy wars,” 8 December; https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/07/boris-johnson-accuses-saudi-arabia-of-twisting-and-abusing-islam).
It is a pity he made these accurate observations at a conference in Rome, but when given the opportunity on national television last Sunday on the Marr programme, he opined the opposite view!
Johnson’s view reflects a similar interpretation of Saudi interference as held by Hillary Clinton when she was US secretary of state, made in a private email dated 27 September 2014 to John Podesta, a senior Democratic party insider, made public by Wikileaks earlier this year.
She wrote explicitly: ““While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774
This was reported in the US media in several place,eg “Hillary In Leaked Email: Saudi Arabia And Qatar Are Funding ISIS,“ Daily Caller, 10 October 2016 (http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/10/hillary-in-leaked-email-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-are-funding-isis/) and “The Terrorists the Saudis Cultivate in Peaceful Countries, “ New York Times, 3 July 2016; http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/opinion/sunday/the-terrorists-the-saudis-cultivate-in-peaceful-countries.html?ref=opinion&_r=0)Meantime, this week foreign office minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns told peers in a written answer: “The Saudi Arabian Government has been at the forefront of international efforts to defeat Daesh and its poisonous ideology.( HL3556, 7 December)