Saudi Foreign Minister Reconfirms Support for Syrian Opposition
(WASHINGTON, DC) - Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal reconfirmed the Kingdom’s support for the moderate Syrian opposition and expressed frustration with the current situation in Syria during the 69th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York yesterday.
During his remarks, Prince Saud stated, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's position was, and is still, in support of the moderate Syrian opposition and the fight against terrorist groups on Syrian territory, but our battle with terrorism must begin with the elimination of unfair conditions that produced it in the first place."
“Two and a half years ago, we met to announce to the whole world our support for the right of the Syrian people to achieve their rights, freedom and dignity. At that time, there were no terrorist groups, nor moderate or extremist opposition, no common use of chemical weapons against defenseless civilians, and the number of the dead and arbitrarily detained was a heartbreaking matter, exceeding tens of thousands,” stated Prince Saud.
Prince Saud continued, “Here we gather today, not to talk about the Syrian people's right to defend themselves and regain their legitimate rights, but rather to talk about the fight against extremism and terrorism in Syria and Iraq, as well as elsewhere in the region. We also want to look for ways to support the moderate Syrian opposition and isolate the extremist Syrian opposition as the number of the dead has exceeded two hundred thousand and the number of people displaced from their homes amounts to nine million inside and outside Syria.”
Prince Saudi placed blame on the current Syrian regime for the “creation of a security vacuum, which provided an environment for the growth of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.”
He stated that, while a political settlement based on the Geneva Declaration is needed to end the conflict, the Kingdom is convinced that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad won’t accept to sit down at the negotiating table unless the change of scales on the ground is in favor of the moderate forces. "In this sense, our support for the moderate Syrian opposition forces should not be limited to military support to counter terrorist groups in Syrian territory, but should include practical steps to weaken the Syrian regime by tightening the economic blockade, begin to pursue its symbols through the mechanisms of international justice for their crimes committed against the Syrian people, enhance its political isolation and encourage defections in the ranks of the civilian and military personnel from within the regime."
Prince Saud concluded that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has lost its legitimacy due to its inhuman practices and policies that have created a fertile environment for terrorism, and; therefore, a solution to this dilemma will not be found, except through its departure from the political scene with those whose hands are tarnished with the blood of the Syrians.”