Saudi Arabia stayed out of the regional quartet's meeting on Syria held in Cairo earlier this week, a group that also includes Egypt, Iran and Turkey.
This only confirms that Egypt's diplomatic initiative has more to do with Cairo's ambition to play a larger regional role, rather than with any realistic hope of settling the differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia on Syria and other disputed issues.
The tension between two oil-rich powers has been growing in parallel with Iran's growing regional clout, which was given an unprecedented boost after 2003 when the US graciously removed Iran's oldest enemy, Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein.
But Iran and Saudi Arabia are careful not to get embroiled in direct conflict, preferring instead to outflank each other by seeking allies among regional political forces, and through intense propaganda.
Photo by Salah Malkawi.