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Saudi Minister Says Syrians Have Right To Defend Themselves

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal in Tunis in late February.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has used a rare televised news conference to say Syrians have a right to take up arms and defend themselves.

Saudi officials have been frequent critics of the actions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including discussion of military aid the to the largely Sunni Syrian opposition.

"Is there something greater than the right to defend oneself?" he asked.

He said the Syrian regime "is not wanted by the people" and is "imposing itself by force."

Continuing his criticism of the Syrian government, Faisal said that "weapons used to target homes are used in wars with enemies."

Faisal also said "Russia and others" should advise the Syrian government to "stop the killings."

Russia and China were among a handful of countries that voted against UN resolutions condemning Syria's government.

Saudi Arabia's official SPA news agency reported that last month, Saudi King Abdullah told President Dmitry Medvedev that Russia should have "coordinated with the Arabs...before using the veto" to block a resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council.

With AP and AFP reporting