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Saudi Arabia Hits Out At Russia For 'False Accusation'

3/8/2012 2:12 AM ET

Saudi Arabia has hit out at Russia for making "false accusation" that it was supporting terrorism in Syria, and said Moscow should take moral, legal and criminal responsibility for backing the crimes of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"Only history will reply to this false accusation for it is a witness to who are the real terrorists and who are backing them," a Foreign Ministry official was quoted by the Arab News as saying in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The strong reaction of the oil-rich Kingdom comes in the wake of the "dangerous and irresponsible" statement made by a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman on March 4.

"Saudi Arabia has been dealing with the Syrian crisis on the basis of international legitimacy and through the U.N. Security Council but its efforts were blocked by the veto, giving Syria the license to continue its crimes against unarmed civilians, violating human values and international charters," the Saudi official said, adding that the Russian accusation was based on wrong assumptions that the Syrian Opposition was composed of al-Qaeda and other armed terror outfits.

"This shows Russia's flagrant support to a regime that commits crimes against humanity," he said.

Russia along with China had vetoed a U.N.-Arab League resolution at the Security Council that sought to condemn unabated violence in Syria, where more than 7,500 people were killed since a popular uprising against Assad's autocratic regime broke out a year ago.

The Syrian regime continued to suppress dissent using the military despite repeated calls from the international community to refrain from killing unarmed citizens of the Arab country.

by RTT Staff Writer

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