Following recent visits to Iran and Afghanistan, President Asif Zardari has gone to Saudi Arabia, where he had extensive talks with King Abdullah on Wednesday immediately after arrival. In the talks, the two heads of state agreed on the need to increase economic cooperation, as well as the need to continue cooperating in the war on terror. There are a number of areas where the two states have common interests that need understanding at the level President Zardari and King Abdullah represent. For one, as the two states, which define the Arabian Sea, being at its western and eastern ends, and thus Indian Ocean littoral states, they must see with reservations the huge footprint on the region left by the USA. Though both are closely allied to it in its war on terror, neither should want to see its replacement by India as in any way beneficial, after the USA withdraws. Though King Abdullah has exchanged visits with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in 2006, he should be wary of Indian designs on the entire region. At the same time, he must be aware that while Pakistan regards Saudi Arabia with a sentiment approaching reverence because it hosts the holiest sites in Islam, Indias aversion to Islam is notorious. The talks included a discussion of the Middle East situation, and by supporting stability in the region, Pakistan came out firmly against the turmoil which not only toppled two regimes, but affected neighbouring Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia itself. This support for the Saudi regime would have been welcome at this juncture, considering the level at which it was expressed. However, another important unifying factor is Afghanistan. Along with other major large Muslim states in the region, like Iran and Turkey, the two should concert measures to provide stability to Afghanistan and thus the region, to the exclusion of outside powers. The visit should be viewed in the light of this in particular. At the same time, though it was not mentioned, the Palestinian issue must have received some attention, especially as the statehood is to go before the UN General Assembly in its next session. Saudi Arabia has long been a standard-bearer for the Palestinians, and Pakistan has been content to follow its lead on the issue. However, as it is time this issue came to some sort of conclusion, if necessary through the UN General Assembly, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia need a coordinated approach on this issue, which like Kashmir, was first taken up by the world body in 1948.