Despite Obama's Appeal, Saudis Unlikely to Push Mideast Talks

[McClatchy-Miami Herald] Dion Nissenbaum - President Obama's strategy for rejuvenating Arab-Israeli peace talks is running into resistance from Saudi Arabia, which has rebuffed the American leader's appeals to play a more active role in his plans. Saudi officials have expressed skepticism about Obama's attempts to secure concessions from the Arab world in exchange for a commitment from Israel to stop building Jewish homes in the West Bank. To drive that point home, the Saudis have been putting private pressure on their regional allies to make sure that they don't make any dramatic gestures unless Israel takes the first step. "The ambition to bring the Saudis on board has been disappointed," said one Western diplomat based in Riyadh. "It would be quite difficult for the Saudis to lead the way the U.S. is hoping, because any warmth towards Israel would be deeply unpopular with its public."

2009-07-27 06:00:00

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