Middle East

Syrian opposition calls for 'sophisticated' arms

Somalian Foreign Minister Abdirahman Udale Bayle (L) sits next to empty Syrian seat at the opening session of the Arab League Foreign ministers's meeting in preparation for the Arab Summit in Kuwait City, on March 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait: Syria's opposition chief urged Arab leaders Tuesday to pressure the international community to supply rebels with "sophisticated" weapons that would tip the balance of power on the ground.

Addressing the Arab summit in Kuwait, National Coalition chief Ahmed Jarba also urged Arabs to give Syria's Arab League seat to the opposition and hand them Syria's embassies worldwide.

In his address, Jarba called on Arab leaders to "pressure the international community to commit to its promises to supply sophisticated weapons to our revolutionaries".

Earlier, Saudi Arabia's crown prince said the international community had "betrayed" Syrian rebels by being slow to provide them with arms as they fight to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz said a "legitimate resistance betrayed by the international community and left easy prey to tyrant forces" is facing challenges in the conflict-hit country.

The summit opened Tuesday amidst deep rifts and regional turmoil, including upheaval in Egypt and the ongoing war in Syria. The annual meeting of the Arab League follows a rare public row between Gulf states over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.





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