Friends of Syria Group calls for withdrawal of Iran, Hezbollah from Syrian conflict

May 23, 2013

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal led the Kingdom’s delegation to a meeting of the Friends of Syria Group, which began yesterday in Amman. The summit is also being attended by the foreign ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. The Acting President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, George Sabra, took part as well.

During the meeting, the participants denounced the growing involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in the Syrian crisis. In a statement released today, they called for an “immediate withdrawal of Hezbollah, fighters from Iran and other regime-allied foreign fighters from Syrian territory,” characterizing their actions as a “serious threat to regional stability.”

In addition, the foreign ministers outlined the parameters for the formation of a transitional government in Syria. They also expressed concern over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, warning of “severe consequences if these reports are confirmed.”

Meanwhile, the Arab Committee on the Syrian Crisis held a closed-door emergency meeting at Arab League (AL) headquarters in Cairo today. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani led a Saudi delegation to the session, which was chaired by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani and included the participation of UN-AL Joint Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and representatives from several Arab states.

During the meeting, the delegates discussed the latest developments in the Syrian crisis, including the proposal of an international conference in Geneva with the participation of the Syrian regime and the opposition.