The Kingdom has rejected allegations published in a British newspaper that it is funding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an Al-Qaeda-linked group, in Syria.
Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, wrote in The Independent this week that the allegations were false and misleading, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.
Prince Mohammed was responding to an article published in The Independent on Jan. 5 entitled, “Now it’s Middle Eastern regimes fighting Al-Qaeda, while the US ties itself up in knots.”
The article, written by journalist Robert Fisk, claims that Saudi Arabia is financing the ISIL.
The prince said the Kingdom’s position on the conflict in Syria was clear, and that it supported the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian opposition, and wanted the world to follow suit.
He said the Kingdom was playing a major role in trying to restore peace in Syria.
He blamed the international community’s inaction for allowing terrorist groups to proliferate in Syria.
He said the Kingdom repeatedly stressed that providing support for the forces of moderation was the most effective way to counter extremism inside Syria.
The ambassador said Saudi Arabia continues, through the Friends of Syria, to urge the international community to be more courageous in providing support to coalition forces and the Free Syrian Army that is in dire need of international assistance.
Syrian opposition chief Ahmad Jarba, meanwhile, accused the regime of showing no “serious commitment” during a week of peace talks in Geneva that wrapped up on Friday.
“We cannot speak about a serious commitment by Assad’s representatives,” Jarba said after a first round of closed-door negotiations ended with no concrete results.
He insisted that the talks marked “the beginning of the end” for Bashar Assad.
Jarba confirmed that his National Coalition will take part in a second round of talks, expected to kick off on Feb. 10.