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French Press Expresses Suspicion That Britain Arranged Wahabi Invasion

October 16, 1924
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The Paris newspapers devote a great deal of space to the report of King Hussein’s abdication from the throne of the Hedjaz and from the Caliphate. Many of the papers declare that his abdication may raise very serious complications for British policy in the Middle East. With King Hussein gone, they say, there is an end to the idea of an Arab Confederation under a British nomince.

The “Eclair” writes that the whole edifice which Britain has erected in the East has collapsed. The “Journal des Debats” writes: “The British have been expelled from Persia and Transcaucasia, they are menaced in Mesopotamia and have been compelled to agree to an Egyptian King at Cairo. Thy have abandoned the Greeks who were driven out of Asia Minor, the Turks are back in Constantinople and Smyrna and are preparing to re-enter Mosul. The fall of Hussein means the end of the British system of domination in the East.

“Le Matin”, “L’Oeuvre” and “L’Echo de Paris”, on the other hand, suggest that the Wahabi attack on King Hussein was arranged by Great Britain. For some months King Hussein has not been on good terms with London, writes the “Matin”. He has resolutely refused to accept the Anglo-Hedjaz Treaty which would have reduced his country to a kind of British protectorate. It would not be a matter of surprise if British agents had arranged for the offensive made by Sultan Ibn Saud by withdrawing the subsidies previously paid to him to keep him back from attacking the Hedjaz. Britain’s neutrality in the present fighting is significant.

“L’Oeuvre” writes that British policy in the Arab countries has been built on sand and her Imperialist policy there must be abandoned.

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