Saudis absent from Iraq security meeting in Syria

Iraq's deputy foreign minister urged his country's neighbors Wednesday for genuine support and said he hoped a meeting here on Iraq's deteriorating security would produce real results instead of broken promises. But key regional power player Saudi Arabia was absent from the first meeting of the newly created Security Committee for Coordination and Cooperation on Iraq. A US delegation, headed by Washington's top diplomat in Syria, Chargé d'affaires Michael Corbin, was in attendance at the two-day meeting as well as representatives of Iraq's other neighboring countries including Iran, the Arab League, Bahrain and Egypt and UN Security Council permanent members. But Saudi Arabia's decision not to participate cast doubt on how effective the meeting would be. Its absence was likely due to its bad relations with the Syrian government. Saudi officials would not comment, but the kingdom and Damascus have been deeply divided over Syria's ties to Iran and the Shiite Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon.