Saudis Forming Anti-Shiite 'Club of Kings'

Royal family moves to form alliance against Iran, uprisings
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 10:44 AM CDT
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal, left, welcomes Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa upon his arrival in Riyadh.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia is moving to firm up alliances with Sunni nations in a bid to limit Iran’s influence and stem the tide of revolts in the Arab world. It has asked several countries across the Middle East and Asia, including Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, to join an informal alliance that will oppose Iran and stifle the Shiite revolt in Bahrain, the Wall Street Journal reports. In his pitch to Pakistan, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud reportedly argued that America couldn’t be trusted to restore stability.

Saudi Arabia has also asked the rulers of Jordan and Morocco to join the country in a kind of “Club of Kings,” Prince Waleed bin Talal al-Saud tells the New York Times. “We’re sending a message that monarchies are not where this is happening,” the prince says. "We are not trying to get our way by force, but to safeguard our interests." Egypt’s military council, meanwhile, has received $4 billion in Saudi aid, and Saudi diplomats are trying to manage the transition of power in Yemen. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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