Buddies in Riyadh

Ahmadinijad and AbdullahIranian PM Mahmoud Ahmadinijad has made his first official visit to Saudi Arabia, to meet with King Abdullah.

What do the leaders of the Shiite and Sunni worlds have to say to each other? Ostensibly, they are talking about how to reduce sectarian tensions in Iraq.

One way to describe this is to say that they understand that the US is now ready to do almost anything to get out of Iraq cleanly, and they wish to coordinate their demands.

One thing that they will be able to agree on is that they would like to see the US apply pressure to Israel to give the Golan back to Syria. They would also like to see recognition of the Palestinian unity government and a resumption of aid to the Palestinian authority.

One thing that it may be difficult to agree upon is the Iranian nuclear program. If they want to, Saudi Arabia can apply a lot of leverage by increasing oil production to force the price of oil down. This would have a negative effect on Iran’s economy, since their cost of production is much higher than that of the Saudis.

Meanwhile, the US has sent a high-ranking diplomat to Syria for the first time since the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

We await developments in this new diplomatic process with trepidation, to say the least.

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