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Friday, March 27, 2009

Saudis, Egyptians gear up to isolate Iran

Fri, 27 Mar 2009 20:27:29 GMT | PressTV

Mubarak (L) along with
Saudi Monarch Abdullah
With the main goal of isolating Iran in the region, Saudi and Egyptian leaders step up efforts to woo Syria against the Islamic Republic.

In an early March meeting in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak joined forces to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran, taking matters in their own hands.

During the summit, Abdullah attempted to cajole Syrian President Bashar Assad into breaking ties with Tehran by promising financial and political support, said a Saudi royal adviser.

"What we said was, 'Come back to the Arab fold, and after that everything you need can come," AFP quoted the Saudi official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mubarak, by contrast, drove a much harder bargain in his talks with the Syrian president.

Mubarak reportedly demanded that Assad immediately resign from the Iranian side, warning that there would be no major diplomatic overtures until Syria shows a real change of behavior, said an Egyptian official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

So far, there has been no sign of a breakthrough. On Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem visited Iran and proclaimed that ties between Damascus and Tehran were "excellent."

Syria and Iran have been bitterly feuding with Saudi Arabia and Egypt over a string of political issues -- including their silence and lack of action against Israel's recent attack on the Gaza Strip.

Relations soured even more after Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, urged fellow Arabs to forge "a unified and a joint vision" to face up to Iran and Syria on March 4.

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