The Saudis Have Plans of Their Own

[Ynet News] Zalman Shoval - The American administration recently decided to support Saudi Arabia - to a large extent instead of Egypt - in taking an active role in diplomatic developments in our region. Yet Saudi Arabia has plans of its own, and they do not always tie in with Washington's plans. The most serious deviation relates to the Palestinian issue. The Saudis didn't want to isolate Hamas, but rather, to bring it closer to them (including through the use of money) in order to undermine the ties that began forming between Sunni terror organizations and Shiite Iran. Hamas is perhaps radical but at least it is Sunni (the Saudi regime is no less fundamentalist than Hamas after all). What really concerns the Saudi leadership is the rise in Shiite power in the Middle East, including internally, and their fears are reinforced with every additional day of fighting in Iraq, where the Shiites have the upper hand. It's not that the Saudi royal family is not eager to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, particularly if it comes at Israel's expense, but it has more urgent problems to attend to.

2007-03-05 01:00:00

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