Saudi Arabia condemns Hezbollah’s actions in Syria
RIYADH, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia condemned Hezbollah’s “blatant interference” in the Syrian crisis on Monday.
During a cabinet session chaired by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday, the Saudi cabinet was briefed on the latest developments in the international arena, including the Syrian crisis.
Following the meeting, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja, informed the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the cabinet had discussed the escalating violence in Syria, the dangerous regional repercussions of the Syrian war, and the Syrian regime’s use of sophisticated weaponry to target Syrian cities, killing and displacing innocent civilians. The cabinet also voiced concern over the destruction of Syrian infrastructure and the depletion of the capabilities of the Syrian people.
Dr. Khoja expressed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for various Arab and international efforts to end the crisis, making special mention of the recent statement issued by the extraordinary meeting of the Arab League’s foreign ministers. The statement condemned the continuing acts of violence, killings, and crimes against the Syrian people, in addition to the foreign intervention that has turned Syria into an international battlefield
The Saudi culture and information minister also announced Riyadh’s backing for the Arab League ministers’ statement which emphasized the importance of preserving Syria’s territorial integrity, social fabric, and national institutions. The statement called for the formation of a transitional government for a specific agreed-upon time period in order to ensure a peaceful transition of power in Syria.
The Saudi cabinet also called for greater response to the international calls for humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, warning of the deteriorating situation in the country. Riyadh called on the international community to shoulder its humanitarian responsibilities and work to deliver food and medical aid to all those affected.
Dr. Khoja expressed Saudi Arabia’s concern about the violent conflict that has spilled over into the Lebanese city of Tripoli, reiterating Riyadh’s appeal to all parties to act wisely and not be deceived by calls for violence that only serve to harm Lebanon and its people.
Saudi Arabia’s condemnation of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian war came on the same day that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced that it is set to take action against Hezbollah loyalists living in GCC member-states, of which Saudi Arabia is one.
In an official statement, the regional organization announced: “The GCC will take measures against [those] in the GCC countries affiliated with Hezbollah in rights to their residencies, as well as their financial and business transactions.”
The GCC strongly condemned the Lebanese militia’s “illegitimate” interference in the Syrian conflict, emphasizing that this demonstrates Hezbollah’s “real nature and goals.”
The GCC statement also called on Lebanon’s government to “shoulder its responsibilities towards Hezbollah and its illegal and inhumane behavior in Syria and the region.”