Asiri Lashes Out at Syrian Ambassador over Arms Ship Allegationsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri lashed back at the head of the Syrian mission, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, for accusing Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries of arming the Syrian rebels and being responsible for the Syria-destined weapons shipment recently intercepted by Lebanese army.
“With all the respect I have for my colleague ambassador Ali Abdul Karim, I am surprised by his hasty statements in which he accused (Gulf) countries without any evidence,” the Saudi ambassador said in a statement.
Asiri noted that Ali’s statement “is part of a policy adopted by the Syrian government in a desperate attempt to divert attention from what the Syrian people are suffering.”
The Syrian ambassador told reporters on Wednesday after meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour that the Gulf countries are behind the arms vessel Lutfallah II, accusing mainly Qatar and Saudi Arabia of arming the Syrian rebels.
The Lebanese army intercepted last month the vessel that contained three containers of arms off the northern coast and towed it to the port of Selaata and then to the navy base in Beirut.
The eleven-member crew – eight Syrians, two Egyptians and an Indian - and the ship’s agent were arrested.
Investigations revealed that no Lebanese national was involved in the case.
However, a senior official in the Free Syrian Army denied that the rebels had any link to the ship.
The unnamed officer instead blamed the Syrian regime for being behind the ship.
“Saudi Arabia is keen to provide the Syrian people with all the necessary humanitarian aid without having any political background,” Asiri’s statement said.
He voiced concern over the remarks of Ali, slamming his attempt to create an illusion that his comments came in coordination with the Lebanese officials.
“The Lebanese government and people realize that the kingdom never tried to violate the sovereignty or violate (Lebanon’s) security and stability,” Asiri added.
Informed sources told An Nahar newspaper on Friday that the Saudi ambassador feels bitter about the failure of the Lebanese cabinet to condemn Ali’s allegations.