Arab League states’ views on Syria response far from uniform
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait pushed for the resolution blaming the Syrian regime for the attack. The Saudi foreign minister, Saud Al Faisal, speaking later in Jeddah, said that Syria’s use of chemical weapons required a “firm and serious” response, adding that Mr Al Assad’s government had “lost its Arab identity and is no longer affiliated in any way for the Syrian civilisation”.
But Algeria objected to language in the resolution, including wording carried over from recent league resolutions on Syria, supporting the right of member countries to assist Syrians fighting in “self defence”. Iraq also abstained from voting on that paragraph, as well as one condemning the Syrian regime for the chemical weapons attack.
Egypt’s government, meanwhile, urged countries to wait for the results of an investigation by UN weapons inspectors in Damascus before assigning blame for a chemical attack. Lebanon abstained from voting on the resolution altogether.
These divisions over Syria are not new, but they have widened in recent months.