Assad buying time – Saud |
Saudi Gazette - 04 June, 2012
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was maneuvering to gain time, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said at a joint press conference with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon here Sunday.
“Every initiative has been accepted by the Syrian regime and was not implemented. This is a way used by the regime to gain time,” Prince Saud said.
“He is playing for time and maneuvering,” he said.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan will present his report on Syria in a few weeks... It must be clear, straightforward, precise and transparent, Prince Saud said.
“We hope the United Nations takes a firm stance.”
The foreign minister said: “We support creating a buffer zone in Syria which the oppressed can take refuge in... but this is the responsibility of the UN Security Council as the Arab League can’t do this.”
“The real solution lies in protecting the Syrian people from the harsh military,” he said.
“The people are unarmed whereas the regime receives weapons from several” countries.
“The situation is very dangerous. We hope things don’t deteriorate further,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon called for broad international talks on the rising Syrian crisis, urging Security Council members to consider Arab League demands for stronger UN action in the strife-torn country.
“Our priority at this time is to help the Syrian people...I want to welcome a wider international discussion on the future course of actions,” Ban told reporters after a meeting with Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu here Sunday.
Ban said he had “taken note” of Arab League calls for more peace monitors on the ground in Syria and “setting a certain time limit” for implementing international envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point Syria peace plan.
“All these are very important recommendations and I hope that these will be discussed by the Security Council members,” he said, adding that the UN and OIC will “do all what we can in close coordination...to support (Annan’s) efforts.”
The OIC Secretary General considered the visit of the UN Secretary General to the OIC headquarters in Jeddah qualitative as it will enhance the strategic relationship that already exists between the two organizations, stressing that it also reflects the considerable efforts undertaken by the OIC at the international level.
After a short meeting with Ihsanoglu, the UN chief said: “It is a great honor for me to visit the office of OIC and I believe we had a very constructive meeting with the OIC Secretary General as part of our partnership. It is really a high value strategic partnership and cooperative relationship with OIC in addressing all spectrums of our future objectives.”
He said that both sides discussed ways to strengthen this strategic partnership in terms of political areas.
Ban Ki-moon also expressed thanks to the OIC which has joined the humanitarian mission in Syrian that comprises seven UN international agencies and began its work last March.
“The OIC has been playing an active party in the International Humanitarian Forum on Syria and it is a key supporter of the mission of the Special Envoy, Kofi Annan,” the UN Secretary General said.
He also welcomed the OIC plans which aim to establish a Humanitarian Office in Yemen in order to support the humanitarian efforts there.
Ihsanoglu emphasized the support of the two sides to Annan’s mission, adding that the meeting also touched on other issues including the situation in Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan and the current tension between Sudan and South Sudan.