Saudi king tells Medvedev dialogue on Syria ‘futile’


Saudi’s King Abdullah told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday that dialogue on Syria was “futile,” the official SPA news agency reported, hinting at the need for action to halt the bloodshed.

Russia should have “coordinated with the Arabs... before using the veto” to block a resolution on Syria in the U.N. Security Council, King Abdullah was quoted as saying.

“But now, dialogue about what is happening in Syria is futile,” the Saudi monarch told Medvedev in a telephone discussion on the escalating bloodshed.

According to the report, the king told Medvedev that Saudi Arabia “will never abandon its religious and moral obligations towards what’s happening.”

The Kremlin released a statement earlier on Wednesday saying the two leaders exchanged views about the situation in the Middle East in light of the events in Syria, but gave no further details.

King Abdullah’s statements came as Syria’s main opposition group urged the international community to create safe havens in the country and said that military intervention might be the “only option” to end a brutal crackdown.

At a news conference in Paris, the Syrian National Council said it would attend a meeting in Tunis on Friday of the countries known as the “Friends of Syria” and ask for safe zones to protect civilians and allow the opposition to organize.

It also called on Russia to force President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to allow access for humanitarian convoys.

Earlier this month, the king condemned Russia and China for vetoing a previous United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at ending the Syrian government’s deadly repression of a nearly year-old uprising which has left more than 6,000 people dead.

“We are going through scary days and unfortunately what happened at the United Nations is absolutely regrettable,” King Abdullah said in the short nationally televised address.

“No matter how powerful, countries cannot rule the whole world,” the king said in his speech, as translated by AFP. “The world is ruled by brains by justice, by morals and by fairness.”

Iran, Russia oppose foreign action

Meanwhile, Medvedev and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in telephone talks on Wednesday that they reject foreign intervention in the Syria crisis, the Kremlin said.

‘The sides spoke out in favor of the quickest resolution of the crisis by the Syrian people themselves through exclusively peaceful means and without foreign intervention,’ the Kremlin said in a statement.

The two leaders agreed that the situation in Syria was ‘dramatic’ and required ‘constructive political dialogue between the authorities and the opposition without precondition,’ said the statement.

‘At the same time, the leaders noted the importance of pursuing steady political, social and economic reforms in a calm atmosphere and in the interest of all Syrians,’ the Kremlin said.