[DEBATE] : Saudi Arabia Backs Out of Arab Peace Initiative
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Tue Jul 24 01:59:57 BST 2007
Saudi Arabia backs out of Arab peace initiative
Saudi king gets cold feet over suspicions of Iran and fears of terror
attacks sponsored by al-Qaeda, Israeli official says
Published: 07.22.07, 09:46 / Israel News
Saudi Arabia has dropped its support for a land-for-peace deal between
Israel and the Arab world over fears of al-Qaeda attacks, an Israeli
official said Saturday.
"We estimate the Saudis got cold feet over suspicions of Iran and
fears of terror attacks sponsored by Iran and al-Qaeda," the official
"According to our information, the royal palace was frightened,
withdrew from the peace initiative and threw the political ball in the
court of Jordanian King Abdullah," the official stated.
The official added that Egypt's Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman
raised the issue of Saudi Arabia with US President George W. Bush
during a visit to Washington last week.
When Bush announced plans to hold the conference in his speech about
the Middle East last week, Saudi Arabia failed to announce whether it
would attend the regional meeting. Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and
President Mahmoud Abbas said they would be sending delegates to the
Saudi Arabia said it was sticking to the Riyadh agreement between
Fatah and Hamas and urged the rival Palestinian factions to form a
national unity government.
The official added that Saudi Arabia feared isolating Hamas would push
the Islamic group to throw itself into Iran's arms and exacerbate
Tehran's financial support to radical Palestinian groups.
Saudi Arabia's stance set alarms ringing in Amman and prompted the
Jordanian monarch to seek an emergency meeting with President Bush.
The two leaders will meet in Washington on Tuesday.
Egyptian officials revealed last week that the American-sponsored
conference on the Middle East would take place in September at an
undisclosed location in the United States. Arab foreign ministers will
with their Israeli and American counterparts in Egypt on August 31 to
prepare for the conference.
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