Egypts President Husni Mubarak

Egypt’s president Husni Mubarak yesterday conducted a summit with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyad, in part over the looming Iraq war. Both expressed grave concerns about the current situation, and called on all sides to exercise restraint and to avoid resorting to a military solution to the crisis. They called on Iraq to implement Security Council resolutions. They also expressed dismay at the Israeli government’s continued refusal to restart the peace process. They praised efforts to establish a common Arab framework for security.

Mubarak left Saudia after the summit.

It is pretty clear despite the diplomatic language of the communique that both Mubarak and Abdullah are very scared that the Iraq and Palestine crises have the potential to blow up the Middle East. These are seasoned leaders in the region who have remained in power so far by being attentive to threats to security and order, internal and external.

Neither has much chance of being listened to.

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