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Saudi Arabia says no use in dialogue in Syria

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:32 GMT
Author: Reuters
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DUBAI, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that any dialogue about the crisis engulfing Syria would at present lead nowhere, criticising Russia's decision earlier this month to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution.

"As for now, any discussion about the situation (in Syria) would be fruitless," the Saudi state news agency SPA quoted the Saudi monarch as saying during a telephone conversation with Medvedev on Wednesday.

"It would have been better if our Russian friends coordinated with the Arabs before using the veto in the Security Council," the king said.

"We cannot abandon our religious and moral position towards the situation in Syria."

The defeated Security Council resolution, which was also vetoed by China on Feb. 4, backed an Arab plan urging President Bashar al-Assad to give up power.

Russia's decision to use its veto was criticised by the West which accused Moscow of undermining global efforts to end Assad's bloody crackdown on internal unrest.

Russia, though, has said any outside intervention could make the situation even worse and has called for a dialogue between President Assad and his opponents, a suggestion the Syrian opposition has dismissed as unrealistic. (Reporting by Mahmoud Habboush, editing by Andrew Osborn)

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