Clinton Expected to Seek Saudi Arabia's Help in Confronting Iran

(Washington Post) Glenn Kessler - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins a difficult diplomatic assignment Monday in Saudi Arabia, where she is expected to have lengthy meetings with the king. In his meeting with Obama in May, Abdullah rejected making any confidence-building steps toward Israel. (The Saudis themselves had thought Obama's visit was a courtesy call and they were surprised so many tough issues were raised without much preparation.) The tough session helped convince the president he needed great expertise in the Middle East on his staff, which is one reason why Dennis Ross was moved from the State Department, where he worked for Clinton, to the White House, officials said. Clinton will also seek to win pledges from Saudi Arabia to help on the confrontation with Iran, specifically reassuring China that its oil supply will not be harmed if relations with Tehran sour over support for international sanctions. Riyadh had been highly skeptical of this idea, which has been promoted by Ross, but U.S. officials traveling with Clinton have dropped broad hints that the Saudis already have made such an approach to China. The officials say the Saudis are now merely waiting to see if China will seriously entertain a tough UN Security Council resolution before any such arrangement becomes public.

2010-02-15 08:21:52

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive