The Journal welcomes comments from its readers. All communications should be addressed to the Editor and bear the full name and address of the writer. A selection of those received will be published periodically in these columns. When a comment is received regarding an article or review published in the Journal, and we feel it merits serious consideration, the author will be given the option to respond in kind. As a matter of policy, such exchanges are normally limited to one round. The Journal reserves the right to edit or abridge all contributions. In addition to letters of comment, communications on other information of interest will be printed as space is available.
To the Editor:
I am writing with reference to the review article written by Dr. Simon Mabon (“Saudi Arabia in Flux: Plus ça change…?”) in the Autumn 2016 edition of The Middle East Journal (Vol. 70, No. 4, pp. 673–76).
Specifically I would like to draw readers’ attention to a line in the review of the book edited by myself, Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict and Cooperation (London: I. B. Tauris, 2016).
Dr Mabon writes, “By the editor’s own admission, there are a number of chapters that would have strengthened the book, particularly on Central Asia but also the United Kingdom, the latter of which appears to be a glaring omission.” This sentence creates the impression that I have written that a chapter on Saudi Arabian relations with the United Kingdom would have strengthened the book. I have not.
It is also unfair in that it does not acknowledge that there is in fact a chapter in the book entitled “Saudi Arabia and Europe”, over a third of which is exclusively about Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the UK. If readers of The Middle East Journal had been made aware of this in the review article, then the phrase “glaring omission” would perhaps be seen for the exaggerated language that it is.
Simon Mabon was offered the opportunity to respond, but he declined. [End Page 336]