March 30 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah to discuss Syria, Iran and Oil. Sarah Wali reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton meets with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh ahead of a Friends of Syria conference with opposition leaders. Riyadh sees Syria as key to the future of the Middle East. It has led Arab efforts to press Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to end his crackdown on the uprising and step down The Saudis want to see stronger action against Assad, including the arming of rebels. But the U.S. does not want to be drawn into a civil war. Talks come against a backdrop of tenssion with Iran and oil policy differences. The two countries have been strategic allies since the 1940s, but discord over how to respond to Arab popular uprisings strained relations last year. The United States and other consumer countries fear Saudi Arabia may cut oil output if they release emergency reserves, neutralising their effort to cool world energy markets. Sarah Wali, Reuters