Saturday, February 25, 2012

Arming Syrian rebels 'excellent idea: Saudi Arabia

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) meets with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Tunis, February 24, 2012.

Source: Press TV

Saudi Arabia has said that arming the Syrian rebels is “an excellent idea,” following remarks by US President Barack Obama vowing to use every tool available against Damascus.

"I think it's an excellent idea... because they have to protect themselves," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said before a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of a conference on Syria in Tunisia.

The pro-opposition so-called Friends of Syria conference organized by a number of Western countries and the Arab League kicked off in Tunisia on Friday to discuss the Syrian unrest.

Faisal’s remarks could yet be seen as another signal of Riyadh's intervention in a foreign country after it sent hundreds of troops to neighboring Bahrain to crush peaceful protests there.

Clinton also threatened Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a "heavy cost" if he refuses to resign.

Meanwhile, Obama has threatened to mount pressure on the Syrian government.

"We're going to continue to keep the pressure up and look for every tool available” to put pressure on Syrian government, Obama told reporters in Washington.

Pro-Israeli US Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have also called for arming the Syrian opposition with the help of Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the Syrian government of killing the protesters.

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