The Saudis are now officially outside of the pro-US regional axis.
When the Saudis pressured Abbas to give in to Hamas on forming a unity government without Hamas making the concessions the US wanted, I thought that was a clear step away from US influence but not yet conclusive.
When the Saudi King held hands with Ahmadinejad at the airport in Riyadh, I chuckled to myself about how much has been made about supposed secret meetings between Olmert and some unnamed Saudi royal - that the Saudi deny, and how much less is made about the King of Saudi Arabia taking pictures with Ahmadinejad on a state visit. But still not conclusive.
Yesterday the Saudis both invited Iran to the Arab league and called the US occupation of Iraq illegitimate. Clear step but not yet conclusive.
Today I read:
Saudi Arabia endorses Iran's AL observer membership
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has voiced his country's support for approving Iran's request for observer status in the Arab League.
Faisal made the remark Thursday in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Manuchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of an Arab summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where the two sides discussed the latest developments in the region and the Islamic world.
"Given the importance and key role of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in order to further strengthen cooperation between Tehran and the Arab League, we voice our full support for Iran's membership in the League with observer status," he said.
That's it. The Saudis are no longer a US ally in the Middle East.
I still don't like the Saudis. I still wish they would hold elections and be representative of the wishes of their people. On the other hand, I'm sure cutting the US off aligns Saudi foreign policy closer to what it would be under a democracy.