Riyadh says violence casts doubt on Annan’s Syria peace plan

May 15, 2012

Confidence in the peace plan for Syria brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan is diminishing due to continued violence in the country, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said yesterday.

“The violence is still continuing, the bloodshed is still continuing. Nothing has been accomplished except the violence has lessened. The violence continues… nobody is satisfied,” Prince Saud said at a news conference in Riyadh after a meeting of Gulf leaders.

“Confidence in the efforts of the envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League has started to decrease quickly,” he added.

The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) put off the discussion of a Gulf union to an extraordinary summit to be held in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Prince Saud said that all the GCC countries welcomed the proposal made by Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in December to move from a phase of cooperation to a phase of union.

However, Prince Saud said that more time was needed for further studies and research to ensure a smooth and clear transition from the phase of cooperation to union.

“We look forward to a union of the six Gulf states as the ministerial committee studies the report on the union and submits its recommendations to a GCC summit to be held in Riyadh,” Prince Saud said.


An ad-hoc committee of 18 GCC citizens was formed to look into options under the Saudi king’s proposal.

The advisory summit —the 14th held by the leaders of the GCC since the annual meeting, less formal than the regular summits and introduced in 1999 — was preceded by reports that it would announce the intention of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and at least a third country, to join the Gulf union and form its core.

Anticipation was high in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia where lawmakers and economic experts extolled the multi-level merits of the union.

In Kuwait, several lawmakers supported the call for the union and insisted that it would be the best asset to confront challenges and overcome difficulties.

No time frame was given for the GCC summit that will build on the ministerial committee’s recommendations. But it is likely to be before the regular summit next December.

Prince Saud said the advisory summit also discussed the latest regional developments, Iran’s positions towards GCC member states, the situation in Syria and GCC internal issues.

The Saudi foreign minister insisted that Tehran had no right to interfere in any of the measures taken by the GCC countries.

Tehran on Monday said that around 190 lawmakers opposed the proposed union between the Gulf states and claimed that it would destabilise the region.

However, Prince Saud rejected the allegations and said that the GCC did not mind Iran uniting with any country it likes and hoped that Tehran respects the good neighbourhood ties.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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