Prince Saud Statement before the International Conference of the Friends of the Syrian People

February 24, 2012

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal statement at the
International Conference of the Friends of the Syrian People
Tunis, Tunisia
24 February 2012

I would like to first thank the Government of Tunisia for arranging this important meeting, particularly at a time when it is preoccupied with the task of building a new Tunisia.

The gathering of all these countries and organizations reflects the concern and interest of the international community towards what is going on in Syria.

As we express our gratitude for the efforts spent to organize this important meeting, and as we participate with a group of countries to come out with the Chairman's Conclusions focusing on ways to handle the humanitarian situation, especially in afflicted areas, I have agreed to the draft resolution despite my doubts, and grudgingly kept quiet. But my conscious implores me to tell you frankly that what has been achieved does not match the level of the tragedy, and falls short of what we should have done at this meeting.

Concentrating on how to deliver the humanitarian aid is not enough.  It is as if we are fattening the game before the beast finishes preying on it.  Is it humanitarian that we are content with providing food, medicine and clothing to civilians and then leave them to their destiny in the face of a ruthless military machine?

Have we really supported the free and proud Syrian people, who created a majestic civilization, or are we just content with symbolic announcements and slow steps and leave them victim to tyranny and criminality?

What is going on in Syria is a serious crisis that we cannot stay silent on.  The Syrian regime has lost its legitimacy and resembles an occupation authority.  It cannot allege sovereignty and international law to prevent the international community from protecting its people who face daily embarrassing slaughters.  There is no way out of the crisis except through a transition of power, peacefully or forcibly.

The Kingdom holds morally responsible the international parties that disrupt the international move for the way things turned out, especially if these parties continue in their failing and blind stances on the interests of the Syrian people.

Allow me to tell you frankly that if we fail in this meeting to reach immediate, comprehensive and effective solutions to protect the Syrian people, our conscience will haunt us day and night.  My country will be at the forefront of any international effort to achieve that goal and my country will not take part in any efforts that will not lead to the quick protection of the noble Syrian people.