Saudi Arabia to recognize, fund Syrian National Council; Russia rejects Syria resolution
Saudi Arabia will recognize the Syrian National Council (SNC) as the “official representative” of the Syrian people amid a joint Western-Gulf Arab push to have President Bashar Assad removed, a senior member of the opposition group said on Friday.
“Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told an SNC delegation he met in Cairo last week the kingdom will recognize the Council as the official representative of the Syrian people,” SNC executive council member Ahmad Ramadan told Kuwait’s Al-Rai newspaper.
Ramadan did not specify when Saudi will make the call, or whether it will be backed by its Gulf Arab allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
It was also reported in the UK’s The Times newspaper on Friday that Saudi Arabia and Qatar will begin funding the SNC as well as armed groups fighting the regime.
Gulf Arab states have taken a leading role in trying to oust the Syrian president, having this week announced the withdrawal of their members from the Arab League monitoring team in Syria.
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is to officially present a Western-backed plan to UN Security Council ambassadors in New York that will request Assad hand over power to his deputy, while a unity government is formed to oversee a full transition.
The improving ties between the GCC and SNC has aroused concerns among some corners of the Syrian opposition that fear Gulf states will turn Syria into a battleground against arch rival Iran.
The GCC oppose the democratic aspirations of the Arab Spring protests engulfing the region, and sent troops into neighboring Bahrain last year to crush a similar uprising there.
It is also unclear how representative the Istanbul-based SNC is of the protesters within Syria, and the level of contact between the internal revolution and external opposition groups.
Meanwhile, Russia has preempted the West and the GCC by already declaring its proposed UN resolution as “unacceptable.” … Full article
- Arab League plan ‘outrageous meddling’ in Syria (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UN security council to discuss Arab-backed Syria plan (guardian.co.uk)
- Discord among Arab monitors as Russia warns of Syria intervention (alethonews.wordpress.com)