Monday, January 4, 2016

Saudi-Iran Rift Threatens Syria Diplomacy

Dan De Luce,

The latest bid to launch Syria peace talks is in jeopardy after Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran

Stengel image from

A senior U.S. administration official acknowledged that the heated rhetoric between Riyadh and Tehran represented yet another hurdle for diplomacy on Syria.
“The tension caused by these executions isn’t helpful in trying to move past some of the sectarian tensions with respect to Syria,” the official told FP.
But he added: “I think everybody is still trying to move forward.”
The United States was expected to repeat its appeal for restraint and calm when the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public diplomacy, Richard Stengel, meets the Saudi Arabian minister of culture and information, Abdulmohsen Alyas, in Washington on Monday.
But relations between the two allies have been marked by friction and discord in recent years, with Riyadh distrustful of President Barack Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran and frustrated at his reluctance to confront the Syrian regime head on. ...

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