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."

You May Like

Video Getting to Zero AIDS Infections

More than 35 million people around the world are infected with HIV, a disease that is both preventable and treatable

Children, Childhoods Lost in European Refugee Crisis

According to UNICEF, 190,000 children applied for political asylum in Europe in the first 9 months of this year - twice as many as last year

What Happened When I Landed in Antarctica

Refael Klein chronicles what it's like to visit one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth

This forum has been closed.
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs