News / Middle East

Kerry, Saudi FM Discuss Arming Syrian Rebels

Kerry, Saudi FM Meet to Discuss Arming Syrian Rebelsi
June 26, 2013 1:52 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal are working to coordinate efforts to arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. VOA State Department correspondent reports from Saudi Arabia.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal met in Jeddah Tuesday to talk about coordinating efforts to arm opponents of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Foreign Minister Saud says his government is doing everything it can to help the Syrian rebels and wants a "clear, unequivocal international resolution" banning weapons to the Assad regime and declaring its legitimacy null and void.
The Saudi foreign minister says Syrians are facing both an "unprecedented genocide" by their own government and an invasion by government allies Iran and Hezbollah.
"Syria is facing a massive flow of weapons to aid and abet that invasion and that genocide. This must end," he said. 
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are thought to have been supplying weapons to Syrian rebels for some time. With President Barack Obama's decision to start arming the rebellion, Secretary Kerry is here to help coordinate that campaign, but not publicly.
"We never discuss the details of whatever kinds of weapons we might or might not be providing to anybody. That is not a matter of public discussion," he said. 
He says the United States does not want this to be a wider war with more violence and remains committed to talks on a transitional government. 
"But we will continue to provide assistance to the Syrian military coalition and to the Syrian opposition in the interim. Because we do not believe it is appropriate for the Assad regime to have invited the Iranians and Hezbollah to cross international lines and to have their fighters on the ground. There are no United States fighters. There are no Saudi fighters. There are no Qatari fighters on the ground," he said. 
While Russia says it is helping organize those talks on a transitional authority, it is continuing to sell weapons to the government in Damascus and says opposition allies who arm the rebellion will only add to the violence.
Secretary Kerry says whether the United States is engaged or not, there will be people who will fund extremists to continue the fight. That, he says, "runs the risk of much greater damage conceivably to Jordan, to Israel, to Lebanon, and in the long run to the region."

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Comment Sorting
June 26, 2013 6:47 AM
I request to USA, please take extra care to supply weapons to opposition of ASAD. Why I am not requesting to SAUDI ARABIA, because SA is the number one country to supply weapons to terrorist. Every body knows birth place of AL QAIDA & TALIBAN. Even today AL NUSRA,TALIBAN AND AL QAIDA are getting financial and weapons support from SA. In the end I request USA do not play with human blood and do not destroy helpless peoples homes and their earnign power. USA is educated and civilised country and they should take extra and extra care to commence weapons supply.

by: Shakirally from: Canada
June 25, 2013 12:14 PM
"....Saudi Arabia and Qatar are thought to have been supplying weapons to Syrian rebels for some time...." They have been doing it not only for Syrian rebels but all terrorists in the world including the throat slitting Talibans based in border areas of Pakistan and in Chechnya, Dagestan, Yemen, Egypt etc. etc.
All hell let loose.

by: Anonymous
June 25, 2013 11:47 AM
The Brits were ready for Syria. Google "Roland Dumas Syria"! Surprising, this was give little news coverage!!!

by: Michael from: USA
June 25, 2013 7:47 AM
Mr. Kerry is following up on the proper channels in the right way, yet Sunni Moslems have not acted up to higher standards in the past. The Sunni question has shown that divisions break apart foundations. The Shii question takes on emotional depth but includes one important factor for peace in the Middle-East: an ordered system of codes of conduct, that is in the best traditions of Islam

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