US accuses Saudis of telling lies about Iraq· First time administration has made concern public
· Claims royal family is financing Sunni groups
Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Saturday July 28, 2007
The extent of the deterioration in US-Saudi relations was exposed for the first time yesterday when Washington accused Riyadh of working to undermine the Iraqi government.
The Bush administration warned Saudi Arabia, until this year one of its closest allies, to stop undermining the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the defence secretary, Robert Gates, are scheduled to visit Jeddah next week.
Reflecting the deteriorating relationship, the US made public claims that the Saudis have been distributing fake documents lying about Mr Maliki.