The US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford have ordered the foreign-backed opposition figures to take part in the international peace conference, noting that there are many changes in the Saudi policy regarding the Syrian crisis.
Quoting an official in the executive committee in the so-called “Syrian National Coalition”, Nidal Hamade said that Ford had called for an urgent meeting for the SNC figures in Turkey’s Istanbul, noting that the US envoy had threatened to cut funds for anyone who will not attend the meeting.
In addition to Ford, all SNC figures who were opposing Geneva 2 participation were at the meeting: Loay Safi, Anass al-Abdeh, Haitham al-Maleh, Burhan Ghalioun, Najeeb al-Ghadban and Maher Noaimi, Hamade wrote in his corner on al-Manar Website.
During the meeting, Ford told the SNC figures that Saudi prince Bandar Bin Sultan is on long vacation in the United States, “because of sickness and psychological fatigue,” Hamade added, citing the Syrian opposition official who is also close to former Prime Minister, Riyad Hijab.
“We would like to inform you that there are some changes that will take place in Saudi Arabia next March,” Ford said, noting that these changes will reach Bandar Bin Sultan and Saud al-Faissal.
“We also would like to tell you that the US had asked Saad Hariri (head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc in Lebanon) to participate in a coalition government with Hezbollah.”
The US ambassador added that the Saudi committee for Lebanon and Syria (which compromises Abdulaziz Khoja, Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Saud and Muqren Bin Abdullah Al Saud) is to be activated and will take over the Lebanese and Syrian file from Bandar.
Ford told the Syrian opposition figures: “Bandar’s plan for the Syrian conflict, put in 2012, had catastrophic repercussions on Syria and the region. It had made of Syria a powerful hub for al-Qaeda that US cannot confront. For that, you have to stop objecting and to go to Geneva 2, this is the US’ interest.”