By Claire Ferris-Lay
King Abdullah tells Russian there is no point in discussing events in Syria
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that any dialogue between the two countries on the events in Syria is pointless after Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution.
“Saudi Arabia cannot ever give up its religious and moral commitment to the current events in Syria and it was better if Russian friends to coordinate with the Arab stance before using their right of veto in the Security Council,” King Abdullah told Medvedev during a telephone conversation, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
“Now, any dialogue about what is happening in Syria does not work,” he added.
Russia and China on Feb 4 both voted against a United Nations resolution calling for an end to the violence in Syria and for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit. The move provoked strong criticism from both the West and Arab states.
Saudi Arabia along with the other six-member Gulf Corporation Council on Feb 7 announced the recall of their ambassadors from Damascus and expelled Syrian envoys as they sought to further isolate Assad’s government.
Damascus had rejected Arab attempts to “solve this crisis and prevent the bloodshed of the Syrian people,” a GCC statement said.
“The council considers that it is necessary for the Arab states ... to take every decisive measure faced with this dangerous escalation against the Syrian people. Nearly a year into the crisis, there is no glint of hope of a solution,” it added.
Attacks in Syria have intensified in the last three weeks, particularly in Homs, the focal point of a nationwide uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule. Syrian government forces on Wednesday killed more than 80 people, including two Western journalists, in assaults on villages.
Leaders from the United States, Europe and Arab countries are due to meet in Tunis on Friday for the “Friends of Syria” talks.
Assad has called a referendum for Sunday on a new constitution, which he says is a response to calls for reform. The plan is supported by Russia and China but Western powers have dismissed it.