Saudi Arabia more of a threat to UK than Russia, says Ken Livingstone

'We now face a threat from Muslim fundamentalism – most of which has been funded by Saudi Arabia, our principal ally'

David Connett
Thursday 10 December 2015 21:55 GMT
Ken Livingstone, far left, at the Russia Today conference in Moscow on Thursday
Ken Livingstone, far left, at the Russia Today conference in Moscow on Thursday (Corbis)

Russia is not as much a threat to Britain and the West as Saudi Arabia, Ken Livingstone has claimed at a conference in Moscow hosted by the pro-Kremlin television station Russia Today.

“The simple fact is, the West doesn’t face a threat from Russia,” the former Mayor of London said. “We now face a threat from Muslim fundamentalism. Most of which has been funded by Saudi Arabia, our principal ally, which has funded the most intolerant strand of Islam which bears no relation to the teaching of the Prophet Mohammed.”

US funding of mujhadeen in Afghanistan was responsible for 9/11 he claimed.

Russia was getting a bad press and President Vladimir Putin was being demonised he also claimed. “In Britain no one is told about the discrimination against Russian-speaking people in the Baltic States, no one is told that it was actually pressure from the EU that insisted to the then Ukrainian president that they wouldn’t sign a trade deal unless they stopped negotiating a trade deal with Russia, and then when the president decided that he wouldn’t do that, oddly enough he was overthrown.”

During a panel discussion Mr Livingstone added that the “right things” were not being done to stop Islamic terrorism.

“The right thing isn’t being done, almost all Muslim fundamentalism has been funded by the Saudis and the Qataris, going back 70 years, spreading a particularly hate-filled Wahabi strand of Islam and Britain and America should be saying to them ‘You’ve got to stop funding this or you cannot be our ally’.”

Only now has Washington just begun to see that it needed to cooperate with Iran and Russia to combat Muslim terrorism, he said. “We need a broad coalition. The West is discredited after the fiasco over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We need to bring in not just Russia and Iran but China, Nigeria and Brazil as well. It needs to be the world standing together. That’s what the UN was created for.”

Mr Livingstone warned the world was at a turning point. “I think if we don’t recognise the threat and if we don’t recognise our real allies then this could on for decades.”

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