Prince Saud Al-Faisal attends Foreign Ministers’ Joint Regional Meeting on Syria

May 14, 2013

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt held a joint meeting yesterday in Abu Dhabi to discuss the current situation in Syria from a regional perspective. The Kingdom’s delegation was led by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.

During the proceedings, the delegates expressed their ongoing, serious concern over the events in Syria, which have cost the lives of 80,000 people, caused untold human suffering, and threaten to destabilize the wider region. They maintained that the primary responsibility for the continuing violence lies with the regime of Basher Al-Assad. The Syrian government’s tactic of targeting civilians and systematically denying them access to humanitarian aid has created a desperate situation inside Syria and pushed 1.5 million refugees into neighboring countries, the ministers noted. Agreeing that the conflict should be brought to an end with a political solution, they insisted that the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people must be met and that Al-Assad – and his associates with blood on their hands – have no place in a future government.

The ministers expressed strong condemnation of the bombings in the Turkish town of Reyhanli on May 11, warning about the dangers of a regional expansion of the conflict as a result of such attacks. They also viewed with extreme concern the strong indications that the Syrian regime employed chemical weapons, emphasizing the importance of enabling the United Nations to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the allegations.

Finally, the ministers reiterated their support for the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and welcomed the expansion of the coalition to reflect the diversity of Syrian society. Furthermore, they vowed to maintain cooperation and coordination between themselves and their international partners, emphasizing the principles of burden-sharing in regards to the dire humanitarian situation.