By Arab News
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of hypocrisy, telling the Arab summit that he should not express support for the Middle East while fueling instability by supporting Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
Prince Saud said Russia proposes a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis while it continues to provide arms to the Assad regime.
The foreign minister said Assad has lost his legitimacy as Russia continues to supply his government with arms that are killing the Syrian people.
He noted that Arab states are looking forward to have better relations with Russia if it shows more “positivity.”
The minister’s statements over the Syrian crisis responded to a message sent earlier by Putin to participants at the Arab League summit in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi announced that a letter from Putin would be read out to the gathering in Egypt.
“We support the Arabs’ aspirations for a prosperous future and for the resolution of all the problems the Arab world faces through peaceful means, without any external interference,” Putin said in the letter.
His comments triggered a sharp attack from the foreign minister.
“Putin speaks about the problems in the Middle East as though Russia is not influencing these problems,” Prince Saud told the summit right after the letter was read out.
“They speak about tragedies in Syria while they are an essential part of the tragedies befalling the Syrian people, by arming the Syrian regime above and beyond what it needs to fight its own people,” said the foreign minister.
“I hope that the Russian president corrects this so that the Arab world’s relations with Russia can be at their best level.”