Saudi, France call for 'urgent action' in Syria
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal discussed with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius on Monday the current situation in Syria, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported.
The newspaper said Tuesday that the meeting, which was held in Paris, was attended by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.
Highly-informed sources told Asharq al-Awsat that the two sides assessed the situation in Syria and expressed “concern” over the developments in the war-torn country.
They agreed that “urgent action” was necessary, the sources said.
French sources also told al-Arabiya satellite TV network that the talks focused on the province of Aleppo where the regime was said to be preparing for a major offensive to retake opposition-held areas.
They agreed on the need to keep citizens safe, the sources said.
The Paris meeting came as the Obama administration began discussing Monday whether Syrian President Bashar Assad regime's rapid military advance across the heart of Syria necessitates a drastic U.S. response, with officials saying a decision on arming beleaguered rebels could happen later this week.
Top aides from the State and Defense Departments, the CIA and other agencies were gathering for a "deputies meeting" at the White House. There, they will seek to lay the groundwork for a meeting that President Barack Obama will hold with his senior national security staff, planned for Wednesday, said U.S. officials.