Tue, March 27, 2012
World > Middle East

Clinton to visit Saudi Arabia for talks on Syria crisis

2012-03-26 22:55:41 GMT2012-03-27 06:55:41(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to Saudi Arabia later this week for talks on the Syria crisis, right before she attends the Friends of Syria meeting to be held in Turkey, a government official said on Monday.

Clinton will be in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, from Friday to Saturday, to meet Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland in a statement.

She will also attend the first ministerial meeting of the strategic cooperation forum between the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) and the United States, which is to bring together senior officials from the six Gulf states, said Nuland, adding that the meeting will touch upon on "international community's continuing efforts to stop the bloodshed in Syria."

The GCC groups together Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, all of which had announced that they will shut down their embassies in Syria.

From Saturday to Sunday, Clinton will travel to Istanbul of Turkey to attend the second meeting of the Friends of Syria, Nuland continued.

According to her, the meeting will build upon efforts by the friends and allies of the United States and the Syrian opposition to continue to pursue a transition in the Middle East country.

While in Istanbul, Clinton will also hold bilateral meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu and other foreign leaders, Nuland added.

Last Wednesday, UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement voicing "full support" for the peace efforts in Syria of Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League joint special envoy.

The council said it fully supports Annan's efforts "to bring an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, secure humanitarian access, and facilitate a Syrian-led political transition" in Syria.

In February, participants from 60 countries and regions, including Clinton, gathered at the first Friends of Syria conference in Tunisia's capital Tunis. The meeting called for an immediate cease-fire in order to allow humanitarian aid into Syria.

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