Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saudis overtaking Qatar in sponsoring Syrian rebels

"... But last week, surprisingly, the Saudi foreign minister, Saud Al Faisal, met Syrian Brotherhood deputy leader Mahmoud Farouq Tayfour, in one-to-one talks.
The Brotherhood had previously been confident in its alliance with Qatar and Turkey, and saw no need to offer concessions to engage other countries, including Saudi Arabia. So this meeting, which came after an "eager appeal" from the Brotherhood, suggests a shift in regional dynamics.
Two separate sources close to the opposition say Mr Tayfour assured the Saudi minister that "Syria's Brotherhood will definitely not be like Egypt's Brotherhood".
He also "harshly" criticised Qatar's role, even though Qatar had helped revive the Brotherhood in Syria after the Baathists massacred it out of existence in 1982.
.Still, this meeting does not mean there has been a breakthrough in the kingdom's relationship with the Brotherhood, which in 2004 then-Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz (who died last June) called the "source of all problems".... 
The meeting was meant to build channels of communication with the coalition as Riyadh apparently took over sponsorship of the opposition from Doha. Last week Al Arab newspaper, citing opposition sources, said Doha had told the coalition's secretary general, Mustafa Al Sabbagh, that "the Syrian dossier is now in the hands of Saudi Arabia"
Saudi officials made it clear that no support will be provided unless the coalition becomes more inclusive ...Ghassan Hitto, selected in March to head an interim government, will probably be replaced...  His replacement will signal the consummation of that supposed Saudi takeover....."

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