Al Arabiya TV reports that Saudi and French diplomats are in accord that the Syrian government and its allies cannot be allowed to repeat the destruction of Qusayr in the northern city of Aleppo. Just what they intend to do about it — beyond making statements and drawing lines on a map — is yet to be determined. While there are media reports suggesting that Saudi Arabia is supporting the rebel forces by providing arms, France is not yet ready to do that. With various peace talks on the table, it does not appear that any bold actions are forthcoming.
France and Saudi Arabia agreed during a meeting in Paris that the Hezbollah-backed Syrian troops, which defeated the rebels in the strategic town of Qusayr, should not be allowed to repeat the same scenario in province of Aleppo, Al Arabiya correspondent reported Tuesday.
The two countries expressed their stance after Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, and the kingdom’s intelligence head, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, met with French officials.
While both countries established the need for international measures to help stave off a repeat of the Qusayr battle, France said an international consensus is required before any military operation can take place.
After their talks, France noted that the Syrian conflict reached a “turning point” after the Syrian regime declared victory against opposition fighters in Qusayr.
France’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Philippe Lalliot said weakening the rebels will make it more difficult to bring them to the negotiating table with representatives from Assad’s government, according to Reuters.
Russia and the United States plan to hold the ‘Geneva 2’ conference, which could take place from June 15-16. It will bring Syrian regime and opposition officials together for dialogue.