Middle Eastern rulers despised by their people have a friend in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is putting its financial and diplomatic weight behind fellow monarchs in an attempt to prevent their overthrow and stave off regional instability that could end up benefiting Iran. The Saudis gave $4 billion to Egypt last week to shore up the military council and have pledged $20 billion to help stabilize Bahrain and Oman.They've invited Jordan and Morocco to join the Gulf Cooperation Council, which earlier authorized the Saudis to send troops to block a Shiite uprising against the Sunni monarchy of Bahrain. Analysts believe the invitations are intended to create a club of Sunni kings to stand against Shiite Iran. There are also suspicions that the kingdom is secretly providing money to extremist groups to hold back the wave of change sweeping the region.
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