ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A 1966 letter sent by the former Saudi King Faisal bin Abdulaziz to former US President Lyndon B. Johnson shows Saudi Arabia asking Washington to support the establishment of a Kurdish government in northern Iraq.
The media affiliate of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently published the letter which dates back to Dec. 27, 1966, where King Faisal calls for the US to support Riyadh regarding tensions in the Middle East during the 1960s.
Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 until he was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid in 1975.
In a part of the letter published by the al-Motamar news website, King Faisal asks Johnson to support and empower the Kurdish revolutionary and nationalist leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani militarily and financially to form a Kurdish government in northern Iraq.
“The strengthening of Mustafa Barzani through the establishment of a Kurdish government in northern Iraq is [meant] to prevent any Arab rule calling for Arab unity from the north of our Kingdom [Saudi Arabia] in the land of Iraq, whether in the present or the future, knowing that since last year , we began to supply Mustafa Barzani with money and weapons inside Iraq through Turkey and Iran,” the letter reads.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was established in 1992 following the Gulf War the previous year.
So far, Saudi officials have not made any comments about the letter.
The former Yemen President’s media affiliate published the letter at a time where his relations with Saudi Arabia have become largely hostile in the past few years.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
The following is a copy of the letter sent by King Faisal to the former US President in 1966: