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West must balance diplomacy in Saudi-Iran escalation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walk to their seats for a meeting about Syria, in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walk to their seats for a meeting about Syria, in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 Photo credit to AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool

Western approach to the Iran-Saudi crisis is not so complicated.  Going forward it will be crucial for the West to safeguard the Syrian Peace talks. This is the battleground where any further escalation for Saudi Arabia and Iran will have greatest ripple effects across the region and into Europe. The Syrian negotiations are also important to preserve as the only existing political track accompanying the military dimension of the conflict.

At this stage, Iran and Saudi Arabia are likely to base their strategy on short-term reactionary measures. Iran and Saudi Arabia must be reminded that any one party should not be able to spoil this multilateral process and that diplomatic space must be maintained with all parties. If either side does become the spoiler, it will be seen as doing so on a post-facto justification for a position they had already decided and would have taken as soon as an apt pretext arose.

The West should focus on cooling the fallout as soon as possible and to avoid exacerbating the conflict by taking unbalanced positions. READ ARTICLE HERE