Monday, January 09, 2006

Syrian leader makes surprise visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt

Wow, the Jordanian Times is just breming with all kinds of interesting news this morning:

Syrian leader makes surprise visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt

JEDDAH (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad made surprise journeys to Saudi Arabia and Egypt Sunday, seeking support from Arab leaders as he faces an unprecedented challenge from a defecting ex-vice president and alleged Syrian involvement in the assassination of a former Lebanese leader.
Arab diplomats said the efforts were focused on finding a face-saving way for Assad to deal with the most recent interview request by the UN team investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

The diplomats, who refused use of their names because of the sensitivity of the talks, said one proposal being put to Assad called for him to send an envoy to take the investigators' questions. Assad would then provide written answers and send them back to investigators.

The diplomats also said Assad is seeking stronger Arab support for Syria — including convening an Arab summit to discuss Syria's strained relations with the West.

There are two issues at play here. First, the ME leadership of late has been rather fractured lately with each needing to attend to problems in their own house. Second, there is the question of whether the Syrian intervention in Hariris death didn't shake the leadership of the ME imaging that one of their own might take them out next.

Watch to see what the leadership does.

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