News / Middle East

    Kerry, Saudi FM Discuss Arming Syrian Rebels

    Kerry, Saudi FM Meet to Discuss Arming Syrian Rebelsi
    X
    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."

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
    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

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora