By Arab News
(December 13, 2012)
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal reiterated Saudi Arabia’s recognition of the National Coalition as the sole representative of Syrians but emphasized the need for greater unity among opposition groups to mobilize international support.
Addressing a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco, he announced the Kingdom’s donation of $100 million to alleviate the suffering of Syrian people, adding that the amount would be given to the National Coalition.
Prince Saud denounced the regime of Bashar Assad for intensifying its military campaign against unarmed civilians.
He said the regime’s threat to use chemical weapons would have dangerous consequences.
The Saudi minister called upon all Syrian opposition groups to unite under one leadership, adding that the National Coalition should protect the rights of all people.
“The unity of opposition will help remove the justification for the continuation of division among the international community toward the Syrian issue,” he said.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said more than 100 countries had recognized the National Coalition, opening the way for greater humanitarian assistance to the forces battling Assad and possibly even military aid.
Fabius called the “Friends of the Syrian People” conference meeting in Marrakech “extraordinary progress.”
He said the European Union is now renewing its weapons embargo on Syria every three months rather than annually to be more flexible as the situation on the ground changes.
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said the head of the Syrian National Coalition had been invited for talks in Washington following US recognition of the opposition bloc as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
“We have extended an invitation to (Ahmed) Moaz Al-Khatib and the Coalition leadership to visit Washington at the earliest opportunity,” he said in Morocco.