Saturday, April 25, 2009

White House source: "...a lot underway right now with Saudi Arabia -- and things are "sensitive."

King Abdullah Barack Obama.jpg
In TWN, here

"...This weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Israel and Iraq. There are as yet unsubstantiated rumors that she may drop in on some other countries as well -- but we do know that State Department Special Advisor for The Gulf and Southwest Asia Dennis Ross will be in Saudi Arabia on Monday and Presidential special envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell will be in Saudi Arabia this next week as well. All of this is happening while we are holding this US-Saudi policy forum in Washington, DC.

Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir has been called back to the Saudi Kingdom yesterday to advise the King in the meeting with Dennis Ross and other as yet unannounced officials.

Other members of the Obama national security team are traveling as well -- to points not announced, but my guess is that we have a large chunk of our national security and diplomatic representatives focused on affairs in the region this weekend and next week.

So, big stuff is up.

A source in the White House has shared with me that there is a lot underway right now with Saudi Arabia -- and things are "sensitive." I have no idea what is sensitive -- but I do know that the US-Saudi relationship lies at the nexus of many key issues in the region -- from the solvency of King Abdullah's Arab Peace Initiative given trends in Israel and Palestine, to potential opportunities with Syria, to dealing with Iran's transnational meddling in the affairs inside other countries in the region, to Iraq's stability, and perhaps most vital at the moment -- to figuring out a stabilization scheme for Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Saudi Arabia has significant influence..."

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