Sanders returns from Saudi Arabia

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(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders is calling on the Bush administration to make some major changes in its foreign policy with Saudi Arabia.

Sander, who has just returned from a weeklong trip to Saudi Arabia, says it’s critical for the United State to give more support to members of the Royal Family who are backing efforts to implement a series of democratic reforms in that country:

(Sanders) “And I think we have the leverage to do that, given the fact that we have 5,000 troops in Saudi Arabia. We sell them billions of dollars in weapons and buy an enormous amount of their oil, so we have not been, I believe, as aggressive as we should be in saying to them: Look, we are interested in fighting international terrorism and we’re not going to be successful unless you have a more open and democratic society and do not propagate as a government and fund extremist religious ideologies.”

(Host) Sanders met with a variety of groups in Saudi Arabia, including U.S. military personnel, students, Saudi journalists and leading dissidents.

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