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Kerry shouldn’t be cozying up to repressive Saudi regime

Secretary of State John Kerry greets Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

Getty Images/File

Secretary of State John Kerry greets Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

I WAS repulsed to see the photo of Secretary of State John Kerry embracing Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal during his recent trip to Saudi Arabia (“Saudi minister pledges aid to Syrian rebels,” Page A4, June 26).

Why is our country’s secretary of state embracing a representative from arguably the most repressive nation on the planet?

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The list of human rights abuses happening in Saudi Arabia is extensive and shocking. This is a country that beheads people for witchcraft and sorcery; has a capital punishment law for homosexuality; prohibits churches, temples, or any religious building other than mosques; prohibits women from voting or even driving a car; sends hate literature around the world denigrating Christians and Jews; and even severely discriminates other Muslims who are not Wahhabi Sunnis.

Saudi Arabia is a theocratic regime and represents the antithesis of freedom. Nations around the world should be shunning, censuring, and condemning Saudi Arabia. Instead, our nation continues to align itself closer to the Saudis.

Most recently, we have become allies with the Saudis and Qatar (another Wahhabi Sunni country) against the Shiite Assad regime in Syria. By aligning with Wahhabi Sunnis we have chosen sides in the centuries-old conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. We have made the Shiites — up to 200 million people — into our enemy.

Does anyone else see there is something very wrong with this picture?

John Meinhold

Portsmouth, N.H.

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