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I saw this news from tribune.com, but I am not pretty sure about the last sentence:

Gabriel, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy in a left-right coalition, warned against alienating Saudi Arabia, a crucial player in the bid to end the Syrian war, with too much criticism.

Does this mean Gabriel criticised Saudi Arabia too much and should be less caustic based on this article only?

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Gabriel, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy in a left-right coalition, warned against alienating Saudi Arabia, a crucial player in the bid to end the Syrian war, with too much criticism.

Gabriel said that German politicians should not criticize Saudi Arabia too much. If they do, they might provoke alienation towards Germany in Saudi political circles.

The key verb is warned - if we omit the explanatory bits in the sentence, we get this:

Gabriel warned against alienating Saudi Arabia with too much criticism.

Or, paraphrasing this:

Gabriel warned against using too much criticism towards Saudi Arabia, since that could alienate it.

Or:

Gabriel warned against criticizing Saudi Arabia too much: this could alienate it.


So, it's not Gabriel who should be less caustic. It's Gabriel's advice to be less caustic, given to German politicians in general. Or, judging from the context of the article, it's a "mitigating sentence" indicating that Gabriel intends to be cautious in her own criticism of the Saudi regime.

We can remodel the sentence to make Gabriel the recipient of this warning:

Gabriel, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy in a left-right coalition, was warned against alienating Saudi Arabia, a crucial player in the bid to end the Syrian war, with too much criticism.

"Was warned" is a passive voice construction, and it makes Gabriel the recipient of the warning.

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