Saudi Arabia, Egypt: Improvement of ties with Syria depends on Lebanon
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have said ties with Syria could improve if Damascus takes "concrete steps" to find a way out of Lebanon's ongoing presidential crisis. Cairo and Riyadh condition the improvement of ties with Damascus to "concrete steps" taken by Syria to resolve the deadlock in Lebanon, Egyptian presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said Wednesday after President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah held talks in Sharm el Sheikh.
Arab League chief Amr Moussa also attended part of the meeting which dealt with the situation in Lebanon, Awad said, according to AFP.
Wednesday's talks came less than 24 hours after Premier Fouad Saniora, who is on an Arab tour to shore up support for an Arab foreign ministers' meeting on Lebanese-Syrian ties, held discussions with the Saudi king in Riyadh. According to Awad, Mubarak and Abdullah considered the situation in Lebanon as the root of the current inter-Arab rift. Resolving the Lebanese crisis is "the key" to reduce tension in Arab-Arab relations, he stated.
He added ties between the two regional heavyweights and Syria "are not at their best." Improvement in relations between Arab countries "is achieved through deeds not words…through concrete steps." He said Mubarak and the Saudi king voiced grave concern over the situation in Lebanon, adding that the country "is plunging into a dark tunnel."
Awad warned that all bickering Lebanese sides will pay a heavy price if the situation continues to deteriorate.