Russia and China rush to fill Mideast void left by Obama

It was meant to be a farewell visit by a cherished friend heading for retirement. Instead, Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia Tuesday and Wednesday turned into an unwanted call by an uninvited guest at an inconvenient time.

It started a the airport, when Saudi King Salman sent one of his nephews to greet the US president on arrival in Riyadh. The gesture was specially telling because the Saudi monarch had spent much of the day personally welcoming other leaders at the airport. It ended not much better: forced smiles, unconvincing statements of solidarity.

It was typical of what has become the Obama Doctrine: dropping old allies in the hope of turning adversaries into new friends.

Needless to say, the gamble has failed. Continue reading

Saudi king tells Russian president Syria dialogue futile

Russia should have “coordinated with the Arabs… before using the veto” to block a resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council, King Abdullah was quoted as saying.

“But now, dialogue about what is happening [in Syria] is futile,” the Saudi monarch told Medvedev in a telephone conversation on the escalating violence that has killed dozens of civilians in recent days.

According to the report, the king told Medvedev that Saudi Arabia “will never abandon its religious and moral obligations towards what’s happening.”

Full article: Saudi king tells Russian president Syria dialogue futile (NOW Lebanon)