The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, on the last stage of her controversial visit to the Middle East. Top of the agenda was the war in Iraq.
Normally close US-Saudi relations suffered a rift last week when King Abdullah termed the US presence in the country as “illegitimate” in a speech to the Arab summit in Riyadh.
Earlier, Pelosi, a Democrat, became the most senior US official to visit Syria in more than two years when she met President Bashar al-Assad, who said he was ready to talk peace with Israel.
A similar message from Israel was later underlined by a series of preconditions. Republican US President George W. Bush has publicly slammed Pelosi’s visit. He told reporters it sent mixed signals to Syria, and undermined US foreign policy.