Syria's Assad 'manoeuvring' to gain time: Saudi FM

Ahram Online & AFP, Sunday 3 Jun 2012

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal accuses President Bashar Al-Assad of 'manouvering' to gain time in a series of anti-Syrian regime moves adopted by the Gulf monarchy

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, left, and Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani arrive for the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Arab League to discuss the situation in Syria taking place in Doha,Saturday, June 2, 2012. (Photo: AP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal accused Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad of "manoeuvring" to gain time, at a joint news conference Sunday with UN chief Ban Ki-moon.`

"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 told reporters in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

"He is playing for time and manoeuvring," he said referring to Assad. It is worth mentioning that Riyadh took a series of measures during the last few weeks that portrayed its position regarding the Syrian crisis.

Saudi Arabia issued a warning to its citizens to leave Syria and not to travel to the country, hit by over a year of deadly unrest.

"Due to the continuing deterioration of the security situation in Syria, the foreign ministry renews its warning to all citizens from travelling to Syria," the ministry said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency.

It also "urged citizens there to leave."

The kingdom, which has repeatedly called for world action against Damascus and called for rebels there to be armed, issued a similar warning in November.

Saudi Arabia was one of six Gulf countries to expel Syria's ambassadors and withdraw their own in February based on a consented decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).The following month it shut down its embassy in Damascus and withdrew all its staff.

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