Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Saudi warns US over Middle East

Prince Turki al-Faisal
The prince warned relations between the two countries could suffer

A senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family has warned the US that it needs to change attitudes over the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and former ambassador to the US, said a failure to alter policies could threaten links.

The prince said ex-President George W Bush had left a "sickening legacy" in the Middle East.

He accused the US of contributing to the killing of Gazans.

Special envoy named

The prince made his comments in an interview with the London-based Financial Times newspaper.

On 27 December, Israel launched a three-week assault on the Gaza Strip which killed more than 1,300 people and resulted in massive destruction. The aim, Israel said, was to stop rocket fire into Israel by Palestinian militant groups. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the conflict.

On Thursday Barack Obama made his first public statement on the Middle East as US president.

He named former senator George Mitchell as a special envoy to the Middle East.

Correspondents say President Obama's first statement did not significantly depart from earlier US policies.

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