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Middle East

Saudi Arabia backs US strike against Syria

Foreign minister calls on global powers to act as Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo to discuss crisis.

Last Modified: 01 Sep 2013 16:46
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The Arab League accuses the Syrian regime of carrying out last month's chemical attack [AFP]

Saudi Arabia has said it is time for the world to do everything it could to prevent aggression against the Syrian people, and that it would back a US strike on Syria if the Syrian people did.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal made his comments on Sunday as the United States awaits a final decision on strikes against the Syrian government for an alleged chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

"We call upon the international community with all its power to stop this aggression against the Syrian people," Faisal said in Cairo, where he was attending a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers to discuss Syria.

On the prospect of a US strike, he said: "We stand by the will of the Syrian people. They know best their interests, so whatever they accept, we accept, and whatever they refuse, we refuse."

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The Arab League meeting was expected formally to blame Assad for the gas attack.

Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba, reporting from Cairo, said that Ahmed Aljarba, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), would give a speech at the meeting of foreign ministers. 

The league last week accused the Syrian government of carrying out the August 21 chemical attacks in and around Damascus.

The league suspended Syria's membership in 2011 after the government of Bashar al-Assad failed to abide by an Arab peace plan that aimed to end the conflict.

The 22-member organisation offered in March Syria's seat to the SNC and decided to let its member nations arm the rebels battling Assad's government.

John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, named the regional body on Friday among a list of allies "ready to respond" to the chemical weapons attack.

However, some influential members of the league, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria, have expressed opposition to foreign military intervention.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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