Saudi FM: We work with UN, West over return of Syrian refugees

May 19, 2023

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Friday that the Arab League will work with its Western partners and the United Nations over the file of the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Addressing a press conference at the end of the Arab summit in Jeddah this evening, Prince Faisal said: “We hope that Syria's return to the Arab League will contribute to ending its crisis. We understand the point of view of our Western allies over Syria and we will hold talks with our partners in this respect,” he said while emphasizing that the Arab countries found it is necessary to hold dialogue with Syria to resolve the decade-long crisis.

Referring to the invitation of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the summit, Prince Faisal said: “We welcomed Zelenskyy's presence to hear Ukraine's view on the crisis. We welcome hearing the viewpoints of both sides of Russia-Ukrainian conflict.” He stressed that Arab countries have taken a position of positive neutrality regarding the crisis in Ukraine.

On Sudan, Prince Faisal said Jeddah talks are continuing, but it is too early to talk about a breakthrough. “The situation in Sudan is unfortunate and it is important to reach a truce now; the Kingdom is working with the US to reach a humanitarian truce.”

“The Jeddah Declaration reaffirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause and emphasized the strengthening of joint Arab action,” Prince Faisal added.

Saudi foreign minister also pointed out that the Kingdom adopts modern economic thinking to achieve Arab food security, and has put forward an initiative to secure food supply chains. Also, he revealed that the Kingdom's initiative to teach Arabic to non-native speakers opens new horizons.

For his part, Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that Syria's return to the Arab League is an internal Arab matter, and we must work in isolation from foreign powers regarding the Syrian issue. “We are observing a noticeable calm from neighboring countries, and they were given an opportunity to start a new page,” Aboul Gheit pointed out.

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