By Sami Moubayed
Saudi King Abdullah’s landmark visit to Syria on Thursday, his second since assuming the throne in 2005, mirrors Arab diplomacy at its finest hour.
The king is worried – just like his Syrian host President Bashar al-Assad – about two critical files in the Arab world: Iraq and Lebanon.
In Iraq, political rivalries have prevented creation of a cabinet for five months, signaling a political vacuum and security disaster in the weeks to come that would be very troubling for Syria and Saudi Arabia, two of Iraq’s main neighbors.
The situation in Lebanon is even more dangerous and if allowed to explode could shake the Middle East beyond repair. Earlier this summer, the deputy Israeli chief of staff, Gaby Ashkenazi said that an earthquake was in store for Lebanon later this year, when the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) names Hezbollah figures in connection with the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Hezbollah, furious with the accusation, cried foul play, claiming that the entire investigation is flawed because it has relied on false witnesses (who were never arrested or questioned for their motives) and because it never considered Israel as a possible suspect in the Hariri affair.