Saudi foreign minister: arm Syrian rebels
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Saudi foreign minister: arm Syrian rebels

In Tunis, Prince Saud al-Faisal says Syrian rebels "have to protect themselves"

The neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs, Syria, a rebel stronghold being bombarded by Assad forces. (photo credit: AP/Local Coordination Committees in Syria)
The neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs, Syria, a rebel stronghold being bombarded by Assad forces. (photo credit: AP/Local Coordination Committees in Syria)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The Saudi foreign minister says arming the rebels fighting the brutal regime of President Bashar Assad is “an excellent idea.”

Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal went further than any of the other Friends of Syria nations meeting in Tunis Friday to increase pressure on Assad to call for a cease-fire, step down and allow humanitarian aid to flow to hard-hit areas.

Asked at the start of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton if he thought arming the Syrian opposition was a good idea, al-Faisal said: “I think it’s an excellent idea.” Asked why, he said, “Because they have to protect themselves.”

The group is demanding that Assad step down or face as-yet undefined punishments.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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