Monday, August 27, 2012

“Saudi Arabia is totally pragmatic”

"... A similar approach characterises its policy towards Syria. Riyadh fears (Whoa?) the civil war could lead to the replacement of President Bashar al-Assad with an Islamist – yet for almost a year it has been among the most vocal advocates of the opposition, and one of the few countries believed to be supplying rebels with money and weapons. It sees the toppling of Mr Assad as a way of weakening Iran, an ambitious regional rival with whom Mr Assad is allied.
Meanwhile the most urgent regional crisis – Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear programme and its perceived desire to dominate the Gulf – has intensified. The failure of Tehran’s negotiations with world powers has heightened the prospect of Israeli attacks that would further unsettle the region. As a result, Saudi Arabia today faces one of its most difficult periods since it was founded 80 years ago. The domestic situation compounds the problems..."

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