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Influence-rich Saudis blow through Sunni unity

Just a month after hosting the US president and the leaders of dozens of Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia apparently cares more about putting Qatar in its place than maintaining the alliance it built.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud waits to greet U.S. President Donald Trump, as he arrives to attend a summit of Gulf Cooperation Council leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX36T3Y

Less than a month after hosting US President Donald Trump and 50 Muslim leaders, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's alliance of Sunni states is in tatters, squandered on a vendetta. The Saudis' self-inflicted damage comes as tensions with its arch nemesis Iran are becoming more dangerous than ever. Support in the United States for the kingdom is polarizing.

King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud demonstrated the impressive convening power of the Saudi government last month by hosting the American leader and those of dozens of Muslim countries. With a few exceptions (Algeria, Oman), most Islamic heads of government came to Riyadh for the summit. The Saudis rightly announced that the summit was a strong display of unity against terrorism and Iran, one that probably no other country in the Islamic world could have arranged. Saudi wealth and the king's status as the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques account for the success.

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