Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates met with Arab
allies [AFP]

The US is desperately trying to rally diplomatic help for the US-backed Shia-led government in Baghdad.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, and Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, made a rare joint show of diplomatic force during two days of meetings with Arab allies this week bringing with them a proposed US arms package for Arab states worth more than $20billion.

However, the US won no specific new promises of Arab help although Iraq's Arab neighbours repeated a general pledge to promote stability in the war-torn country ravaged by civil war by blocking would-be terrorists and financing that supports them from entering Iraq.

The Bush administration has been pushing to convince skeptical, mostly Sunni-led Arab nations that they have more to lose if Iraq falters. It has hinted that some of Iraq's neighbours, including Saudi Arabia has quietly tolerated, or may secretly support Sunni militant aggression in Iraq.

On the other hand, some moderate Arab countries are worried that escalating opposition in the US to the war in Iraq may signal a declining commitment to security in the region.

Inside Iraq this week looks at the implications of the increasingly strained relations between the US and its close ally, Saudi Arabia over Iraq.

Why is there reluctance even among moderate Arab states to commit more concrete support to the al-Maliki government in Baghdad?

This episode aired on the 03 Aug 07.

Watch Part One Here:

Watch Part Two here:

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