Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Saudi Arabia seeks union of Monarchies....

Isn't this curious?
No mention of Libya in this article, but, I would safely suggest if this  unholy 'union' is successful Libya will be part of it.
Egypt is mentioned.
Imagine the level of US and Israeli influence in this scenario?

  Saudi Arabia pushed ahead Monday with efforts to forge a single federation with its five Persian Gulf neighbors as the conservative monarchy seeks to build a new bulwark against the waves of change sweeping the Middle East.

The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said after a meeting in Riyadh of the loosely allied, six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council that the group had distributed a draft plan for the union to its members’ foreign ministers to review so they could resolve any issues. “I am hoping that the six countries will unite in the next meeting,” he said.  

Allegedly the smaller fiefdoms balked but the Saudi's press on

Prince Saud’s public push forward despite their opposition underscored the kingdom’s continuing scramble — with diplomacy, money and even arms — to preserve or rebuild what it can of the old regional order in the wake of the Arab uprisings. 
Where are these arms originating?
Saudi Arabia’s rulers fear that the contagion of popular revolt could reach their country’s borders and stir its own disenfranchised citizens and residents, including dissidents, members of minority groups and foreign workers.
The irony of that. Saudi leaders have been so vocal in their support of the 'protestors', actually terrorists, in Syria.

 Thousands of Saudi troops rolled into Bahrain last year to help Bahrain’s monarch put down a popular uprising led by members of the country’s Shiite majority. Bahrain, which is linked by a bridge to Saudi Arabia, is virtually the only country publicly endorsing the Saudi push for a tighter regional federation. In a statement released on Monday, the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, said, “We are looking forward to the establishment of the Gulf Union.”

Saudi Arabia has already made moves to try to stretch the Gulf Cooperation Council far beyond its original regional mission to try to turn it into an alliance of monarchies that might band together against the democratic trend. Its diplomats have made overtures to include the kingdoms of Morocco and Jordan.
Saudi and Kuwaiti officials last year even leaked the idea that Egypt might become some kind of member of the group, though Egyptian diplomats quickly dismissed the idea.

I find the Egyptian angle really interesting. A tyrannical monarchy would put the people down once and for all. Keep an eye on this situation.

Egyptians have taken to the streets to complain about the alliance, prompting the worst crisis in years between the countries. Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador after Egyptians, angered at the arrest of an Egyptian human rights lawyer while visiting Saudi Arabia, held protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Cairo. The lawyer, Ahmed el-Gizawy, had drawn attention to the detention of Egyptian workers in Saudi Arabia, who are employed under a restrictive sponsorship system.

But Egypt’s military rulers, fearful of losing billions of dollars in pledged Saudi aid in the midst of a fiscal crisis, quickly tried to heal the rift. Senior Egyptian officials, including senior leaders of the Islamist-led Parliament, flew to Riyadh to make amends with the Saudi king.

Pledged Saudi aid? Or siphoned through Saudi Arabia US aid?

Saudi Arabia appears to be trying to make up with Egypt as well. After more than a year of waiting, it has released to Egypt the first $1 billion of a promised aid package, just in time to help Egypt land a larger loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Very interesting development.

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