By Arab News
Saudi Arabia urged a Friends of Syria meeting to adopt a tough stand and force the Syrian regime to abandon repression and accept a political settlement to the crisis in line with the plan presented by Kofi Annan, joint representative of the United Nations and the Arab League.
Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said in his address to the meeting in Paris: “My country believes the Syrian crisis should be tackled with a firm stand that would oblige the Syrian regime to abandon its security operations and accept a political method to resolve the crisis in line with the six clauses of Kofi Annan’s plan.”
Prince Abdul Aziz headed the Saudi delegation to the Paris meeting.
He added: “We affirm our earnestness and determination in dealing with the Syrian issue and call on the world leaders to present the matter to the Security Council again so they can adopt a resolution that will force the Syrian regime to abide by the Annan plan.”
Saudi Arabia also strongly recommended that the Syrian opposition make all efforts to close its ranks so that it is ready for a transfer of power, the prince added.
The meeting of the Syrian opposition groups under the aegis of the Arab League in Cairo two days ago has been a strong step toward unifying the opposition inside and outside Syria, he said.
The prince expressed sadness at the reports of the security force’s attack on old men, women and children.
The prince also observed in his speech that the Syrian regime was not at all worried by the Friends of Syria meetings but has been using them as an opportunity to intensify its war on its own people.
He added: “Whatever ideas that have been emerging from the Arab initiatives and plans of the joint representative of the UN and Arab League Kofi Annan, or whatever suggestions from the contact committee in Geneva were accepted by the Assad regime in part or full, the government has never cooperated with any action that would lead to a political solution.
“That is because it has the conviction that the issue could be solved with the help of security forces in view of the diplomatic, political and armed support of a major power.”
He did not specify the power.
He also said the Syrian situation has entered a new stage, suggesting the imminent collapse of the regime as indicated by the increasing number of defectors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.