World News

S. Arabia Decries Iran, Hezbollah Involvement in Syria

TEXT SIZE - +
Saudi Arabia says the world should not allow Iran and the militant group Hezbollah to prop up the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal called Tehran's intervention in the ongoing crisis dangerous and said his country "cannot be silent'' any longer.

Prince Saud's comments came during a news conference Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah. The prince called for an international ban on supplying the Syrian government with weapons while calling for more military aid to Syria's rebels.

Saudi Arabia has been supplying weapons to rebel fighters, while the United States recently said it would send arms in addition to the non-lethal aid it had been providing.

Kerry has said negotiations are the best way to resolve the more than two years of turmoil in Syria that have left more than 90,000 people dead.



Meanwhile, hopes are fading for a planned peace conference next month that would bring together the rebels and representatives of Mr. Assad's government.

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Geneva Tuesday such a conference is now unlikely but warned the crisis "is getting out of hand, not only in Syria but also in the region."

Brahimi had been meeting with U.S. and Russian diplomats

On Monday, Syria's foreign minister said Mr. Assad will not step down, and that the government wants a cease-fire in place as a condition of attending any negotiations.

The main Syrian opposition coalition has rejected the talks, saying they are meaningless while Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah and Iranian personnel commit alleged atrocities against the Syrian people.

Feature Story

People make their way into Terminal A at Mineta San Jose International Airport near the Hawaiian Airlines gates, April 21, 2014, in San Jose, Calif.

VOA Exclusive: Teen Stowaway's Father Says Allah Protected Son

Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi tells VOA's Somali service he was stunned to learn his son had made the risky trip to Hawaii in the wheel well of a Boeing jetliner More