Saudis Make More Efforts for Arab Unity

جامعة الدول العربية
Jāmaʻat ad-Duwwal al-ʻArabiyya Arab League Flag


Today, the Saudis took another step towards Islamic unity without Iranian dominance:

Saudis seek Arab unity to push Middle-East peace plan
AFP – March 11, 2009
RIYADH: A thawing of relations with Syria is part of Riyadh’s efforts to isolate Iran and show regional unity behind the Saudi-inspired Arab peace initiative, diplomats and experts say.

Capping weeks of hectic negotiations, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will visit Riyadh on Wednesday together with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak for talks with King Abdullah, who has pushed hard to smooth over differences in the Arab states in the wake of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip.

Assad’s visit could break through years of cool relations between Damascus and Riyadh, rooted in Saudi unhappiness over Syria’s close links to Saudi Arabia’s rival Iran and to radical Islamist groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian faction Hamas.

Another sore point has been Damascus’s alleged involvement in the 2005 bombing assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, a Saudi citizen and protege — a role Syria denies.

But now King Abdullah is leading a last-ditch push to implement the 2002 Arab peace initiative, with the Saudis warning that the offer of blanket Arab recognition for Israel has an expiry date.

It offers the full normalisation of relations between Arab states and Israel in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from all Arab lands captured in 1967, the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem and the right of return for at least some Palestinian refugees.

“Israel must realise that the choice between peace and war will not be available all the time, and that the Arab initiative on the table today will not be on the table forever,” Abdullah said at an Arab summit in January.

The Saudis were deeply angered by Israel’s December-January war on Gaza, which killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and inflamed Arabs across the region, foreign and local experts in Riyadh said.

Worried that Shiite-dominated Iran sought to tap that anger to fuel Islamic radicalism, and hopeful of the new US adminstration of President Barack Obama, the Saudis have undertaken several weeks of intense diplomacy to unite fellow Arabs behind one “last push” for the initiative, they said.

“You have now seen the results of leaving it to sit on the table without doing anything,” said Abdul Rahman al-Saeed, a Saudi researcher for the Centre for Contemporary Studies…

The Saudi-Syria warming “should not come as a surprise,” he said, in the wake of the Gaza assault.

Since January, Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia has warned in uncommonly explicit terms of a surge in Islamic radicalism without peace moves…

They said the Saudis see themselves as “delivering” the Arabs to comprehensive peace talks, hoping to provoke the Obama administration to “deliver Israel” — regardless of who is leading Israel’s government.

Riyadh wants to manoeuvre Israel into “a put up or shut up” situation, said one foreign analyst.

“The Arab consensus is very fragile,” said another. “The warning is that Saudi Arabia will not be able to get consensus again,” he said.

Nugali said that ultimately the fate of the Palestinians was the focus of Saudi policy but some analysts say Riyadh is mainly focused on isolating Iran.

Riyadh sees Tehran as using Syria and Qatar to incite radicals who pose potential threats to Arab regimes as well as to regional peace efforts.

At a meeting of Arab foreign ministers on March 3 in Cairo, Prince Saud called for a joint Arab strategy on the “Iranian challenge.”

“The Saudi line is that the seed of all problems is Iran,” one expert said.

While groups like PCG believe that Iran will be the future King of the South, Iran will not be.

The news today is consistent with LCG’s position on this and we are certainly seeing an emerging block of Arab nations. It is interesting to see how much the Arabs hope that President Obama will be able to help them with their plans.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Are there biblical and non-biblical prophecies about Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?  Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Barack Obama in Islamic Prophecy? There is actually a 17th century Shiite prophecy that some believe that Barack Obama will fulfill that will lead to a rising up of Islam.

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