Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (not pictured) at his private residence in the Red Sea city of Jeddah June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool
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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah broke his silence Friday over the three-week-old conflict in Gaza, condemning what he saw as international silence over Israel's offensive and describing this as a war crime and "state-sponsored terrorism".Saudi Arabia, which regards itself as a leader of the Sunni Muslim world, has played only a background role in the diplomacy to reinstate calm in Gaza, leaving the main Arab pursuit of a cease-fire to close ally Egypt and fellow Gulf monarchy Qatar. Abdulkhaleq Abdullah, a political analyst in the United Arab Emirates, said the speech was a bid to rebut accusations that Saudi Arabia -- along with allies Egypt and the UAE -- was happy to see Hamas weakened by Israel's offensive, which was prompted in part by increasing Hamas rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.The conflict in Gaza has coincided with Saudi attempts to navigate multiple regional crises, including political chaos in Egypt, two separate insurgencies in its neighbour Yemen and wars in Iraq and Syria.
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