Saudi King Abdullah says dangerous conditions in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories could trigger broad conflict in the region.
Speaking at a summit of Gulf leaders in Riyadh Saturday, the Saudi king said the Middle East is like a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode. He expressed concern that Palestinians are fighting among themselves, and that Iraqis are killing each other.
King Abdullah added that unity in Lebanon is at risk, following a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah militants.
Officials at the Riyadh meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council were expected to discuss Iran's nuclear program.
The regional group brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.