Saudi king calls for efforts end Syria violence
Riyadh, February 6, 2012
Saudi Arabia called on Monday for renewed international efforts to end the violence in Syria after China and Russia blocked a UN resolution backing an Arab League plan that pressed for a peaceful transition of power.
In a statement carried on the Saudi Press Agency, King Abdullah called for "crucial measures to protect innocent lives and end the bloodshed", and warned that the violence threatened "unfavourable outcomes for the Syrian people and the stability of the region".
The king said the international community should "not stop their genuine efforts to find a solution to this crisis" but did not single out China or Russia for their veto of the Arab plan at the UN Security Council.
The two permanent Security Council members vetoed the resolution on Saturday that would have urged President Bashar Al-Assad to pull troops from cities and allow a political transfer to begin because it did not blame rebels for any part in the violence.
The world's top oil exporter, one of the leading Arab powers, has long viewed the Assad government with distrust, pointing to its alliance with regional arch rival Iran.
Riyadh condemned Syria in August for its violence in suppressing an uprising that called for the introduction of democracy, and was the first country to withdraw its monitors from an Arab League observer mission to the country last month.
Saudi Arabia viewed the Arab uprisings of last year with concern, fearing the tumult would present openings to Iran and Al Qaeda and undermine regional stability. - Reuters