KSA demands all-out efforts to save Syria

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Arab News

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it was time for the world to do everything it could to prevent aggression against the Syrian people, and that the Kingdom would back a US strike on Syria if the Syrian people did.

Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal urged Arab countries to back calls by the Syrian opposition for strikes.

Arab states must echo demands by the “legitimate” representatives of the Syrian people for “help from the international community to put an end to the bloodbath” in Syria, he said in Cairo, where he was attending a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers to discuss Syria.

He said the international community must stop “the aggression against the Syrian people before these people perish.”

“We call upon the international community with all its power to stop this aggression against the Syrian people,” Faisal said.

On the prospect of a US strike, he said: “We stand by the will of the Syrian people. They know best their interests, so whatever they accept, we accept, and whatever they refuse, we refuse.”

Prince Saud told the Arab League meeting that opposing military intervention encouraged the regime to “pursue its crimes.” “It is time to ask the international community to assume its responsibilities and to take deterrent measures” against the Syrian regime.”

Syria’s main opposition bloc said Sunday it was disappointed with Obama’s decision to seek approval from Congress for action against the regime, but said it believed lawmakers would approve a strike.

“We had a feeling of disappointment. We were expecting things to be quicker, that a strike would be imminent,” said Samir Nashar, a top official at the Syrian National Coalition. The head of the SNC, Ahmed Al-Jarba, told the meeting that the “war machine” of Assad must be stopped.

“I am here before you today to appeal to your brotherly and humanitarian sentiments and ask you to back the international operation against the destructive war machine,” he said. However, some influential members of the League, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria, have expressed opposition to foreign military intervention. Egypt said it objected to “any aggression in Syria.”

In a surprising development, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said the Syrian government had carried out the chemical attack against its own people, the semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency reported on Sunday.

“The people have been the target of a chemical attack by their own government and now they must also wait for an attack by foreigners,” Rafsanjani said, according to ILNA.

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