Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah called for an extraordinary meeting of Muslim leaders to be held August 14-15, the country’s state news agency reported July 22. Saudi Arabia is the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-strong grouping of Islamic nations that has met 12 times since its foundation in 1969. This month’s meeting will be its fourth extraordinary summit.
King Abdullah called the meeting to “examine the situation in many countries of the Islamic world, intensify efforts to confront this situation, address the sources of discord and division therein, reunify the Islamic Ummah [community] and promote Islamic solidarity.”
The call for the meeting came as the violence in Syria heats up and the Alawite regime looks increasingly fragile.
United States-based intelligence company Stratfor wrote June 30 that Saudi Arabia “may be using the emergency summit to help position itself as a leader in the Muslim world, while casting Iran as a sectarian player.”
“It now sees a historic opportunity to seize the leadership of the Arab Middle East and to curtail Iranian influence in the region,” it continues.
Watch for Saudi Arabia to build a coalition of Middle Eastern nations opposed to Iran.
But also watch Iran. If, or rather when, Iran’s influence over Syria is pushed back—as Bible prophecy says it will be—it will be under pressure to prove that its influence isn’t retreating. Watch for Iran to redouble its efforts to reach out to Egypt and Libya, as it shows that it is still a nation with a wide reach and worth fearing.
Right now, the Middle East is going through a key period of change. At the end, almost all the nations will be in one of two camps. One will be a radical Islamic camp led by Iran, which will include Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. The other will be an anti-Iranian coalition, with Turkey and Saudi Arabia as the major players, but also including other Gulf states and Syria. This coalition will align itself with Germany as Europe becomes wary of Iran’s growing influence. Already, Germany, alongside the U.S., is arming members of this group to counterbalance Iran.
This is what Saudi Arabia’s machinations with an emergency summit are all about. Amid the turmoil in the Middle East this summer, watch for these two key alliances to emerge.
For more information on these alliances, see Trumpet columnist Stephen Flurry’s latest article, “Psalm 83 Is Making Headlines!” ▪