Saudi King due in Damascus on road to reconciliation with Iran

After long shunning the Assad regime, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was expected in Damascus shortly Wednesday, Sept. 30, debkafile‘s intelligence and Gulf sources report.
The Saudi monarch has decided to take up Syrian president Bashar Assad’s offer to help bridge the rift between Riyadh and Tehran, who back opposing sides in the Yemeni civil war and so broker a settlement of the conflict.
The offer was presented by Assad during his visit to Jeddah last week. According to our sources, the Syrian Yemen initiative is part of a broader, intricate fence-mending process unfolding over the last two months. It is meant to kick off a process of reconciliation between Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia and lead to the formation of a powerful new bloc for common action to solve Middle East problems. The Saudis would thus succumb to Tehran’s ambition for recognition as the dominant power in the region; its delegation would then sit down opposite the six world powers in Geneva, Thursday Oct. 1, with a stronger hand.
King Abdullah’s willingness to give Iran before or alongside the Geneva showdown may also indicate he is ready for a separate, unilateral understanding with the Shiite regime on its nuclear program as well.
The emerging bloc, if it takes off, would be in a powerful position to bully Lebanon and the Palestinians into forming radicalized national unity administrations. Egypt would inevitably be drawn into this coalition or be left on the sidelines of events. American and Israeli interests in the Middle East would be gravely damaged.
In its last issue, DEBKA-Net-Weekly 414 of Sept. 25, revealed that Saudi Arabia and Syria were in covert talks to settle their quarrel. The live wires behind the scenes were cited as: Prince Mogrin bin Abdulaziz,head of Saudi General Intelligence and Gen. Ali Mamluk, head of Syrian intelligence service and the Syrian ruler’s closest adviser, who is supported by Samir al Taqi.
This last face is familiar to Israeli diplomats as head of the Al-Sharq Center for International relations in Damascus which is the intermediary for interchanges between Syria and the Obama administration in Washington.

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